Monday, January 05, 2009

Who's afraid of 2009?

There's a lot of doom and gloom among the financial soothsayers. Purpose-less business are being put to the sword.
My (Huntingdon, Cambs) High St Woolworths went last week. Which as far as I can think means the only place left where you could buy a cd on Huntingdon High St is WHSmiths.

And you have to fear for the likes of Smiths in the current climate. Like woolies, it lacks a purpose. For me its become a Christmas shop. I visit it once a year.
If smiths stopped selling CDs there would be no where left on the High St to sell them.

And this illustrates the reality and illusion of fear of 2009: Music is being enjoyed as much, if not more than ever. It isn't music that's at risk in a recession, it is a business model - one which packages up, stacks on racks and locks out co-creation.

The illusion is that all is at risk. The reality is that business models which don't fit the networked world are at risk. (image courtesy)

I spent New Years Eve playing Guitar Hero with friends - a glimpse of how new value gets created in a supply web (the artists get paid for their music, and the coders and game designers and interaction designers etc get paid for their contributions.

£300 of console. £175 of game and equipment. Wild guess: more than you've spent on CDs or downloads in the last year?

And way more fun.

People playing together co-creating an outcome they want. It's what multi-player gaming has always been about.

It's what the business models that need have no fear of 2009 must also be about.

Those that have purpose, those that engage with the power of the network; 2009 - and the future - welcomes them.

Those that persist with the broadcast mindset, with command and control, with centre over edge, those do face a tough 2009 - and no future.

As Christmas 2008 fades into memory, like Scrooge, while there's life, there's still time to change. May the ghosts of Woolworths and Zavvi do the trick.

Best not wait for the ghost of Christmas-Yet-To-Come to show your business to its grave.


  1. At £50 a pop it will be interesting to see how games sales hold up this year. I suppose the marketplace on Xbox Live, which allows users to download cheaper additions to games, like the upcoming add on for GTA, will help diversify their revenue streams which will hold up a possible downturn in hard copy sales.

    Reading this morning about the success of the iPhone app store reinforces your point about business models that don’t fit the networked world. This one does and it will be HUGE in ’09, perhaps helping to balance out their hardware business, which is in decline.

  2. good point david. I've been buying apps. I haven't been buying cds.

  3. Nicely put David. Hope you were giving it your all as a guitar hero on NYE!

  4. Good point David W has made about apps too (tho I still buy lots of music). Apple have been smart where Facebook haven't in creating a marketplace from which they take a slice of every transaction.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?