One of my favorite futurist music writers, Bob Lefsetz, wrote an article with the same title as this one ten days ago on Jan 19, 2010 — only his had a question mark at the end.
For me, there’s no question. We are currently experiencing the end of an era… and the beginning of another.
Some of my favorite lines from Bob’s piece:
But what if the Internet is not something to be stopped, but is something impossible to stop, like a tsunami, toppling not only music, but movies, news and TV in its wake.
You can’t stop a tsunami. You can get out of the way, but you can’t put up your hand and tell it to cease coming forward and turn around. As for building a wall… A good idea years ahead of time, but when the wave’s on its way, it’s too late.
I’m just saying that maybe you can’t beat back the march of progress, maybe the public has power it’s never going to give back. Not only to steal music, but to bite back, ruining your reputation online if you make a misstep. We no longer live in a top-down society. And no one has such a lock on the public’s attention that he’s guaranteed revenue.
Seth [Godin] focuses on how to cope in this new era. He tells you to embrace everything that’s been drummed out of you, all the creativity, all the risk-taking. That uniqueness/insight/creativity is ultimately recognized and rewarded.
Newspapers are stating they’re a public good and must be maintained, you must pay them for the news.
But maybe all this outcry is completely futile. Maybe we’ve entered a new era. Maybe the Internet killed the old paradigm. Maybe it’s not worth crying about anymore.
[Read the whole post here.]
Bob and Seth are hitting the nail on the head. (And Bob’s bit about the tsunami almost reads like a page out of my new book.)
We need to begin to cope with this new reality. The old way of doing business is over.
As leaders, the best thing we can do is to become students again. For some industries (music, news) the storm has already arrived. For others, it is still approaching (film/tv, education, government). There is so much to learn, and at the risk of sounding like an Alan Menken/Tim Rice song, it really is a whole new world.