I recently read a great book called Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music by Greg Kot about the MP3 revolution and its effect upon the music industry. There were chapters about Metallica versus Napster, Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want release of In Rainbows, Nine Inch Nails digital experiments and a whole lot of head scratching and suing on the part of the music industry. The question raised by executives and artists was how to make money in the digital age because they were no longer able to control the way people listened to and shared music. Not only was technology disrupting business as usual, but it would redefine intellectual property rights to include digital files.
The music industry is not the only industry being affected by digital technology. The rules are changing for everything from movies and photography to hardware and software, and the only way to really benefit from the changing times is to make sure that you understand what has changed, how it affects your business, and how to address those concerns as they come up.
It’s one thing to fight change, but ultimately unaddressed change will kick your ass, leave you broke, and mock you as others who are more business-saavy and less talented than you will thrive.
How are you addressing the changes in your industry? Are you hoping that the changes will go away? Perhaps you are learning everything about the changes, using them in unique ways, profiting from not only being the first in your field to understand them, but also understanding that your audience is diverse and multi-networked?
It is an exciting time to be in business. The times are changing fast, the competition is fierce, the risks are greater, and the rewards may be less, but that doesn’t mean that there are no rewards to be found.
Hone your craft. Stay current with the times and continue to ride the wave that technology brings.