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August 15th, 2006 by Barry Caplan | Tags:

For the past 100 years or so there has been a rough equilibrium in business models as the content creation style attributed to Hollywood and the distribution styles related to broadcasting (film, tv, radio, music) have been fairly stable. New technologies have arrived during that time period, to be sure, but essentially have been extensions or refinements of either the content creation model or distribution models of yore.

In the future…

The dominant content creation models and distribution models will be very different. Instead of relying on a 1-to-many broadcast model they will be either many-to-many or 1-to-few participation model.

We already see the beginning of this occurring as people spend less time with the traditional media – music, film, tv, radio, and more time with emerging entertainment media such as web surfing, games, online music, and general personal content creation.

Similarly, education models are facing similar pressures to entertainment .

While I don’t expect the new equilibrium to be reached anytime soon (and may not be reached while we are young enough to enjoy it completely), I feel the shift presents a huge opportunity. Old style content creators and distributors have a vested interest in their models, yet face pressure to adapt to the changes in order to remain important players.

It is not always obvious to them how to do this of course. My goals are to advise businesses that are developing critical parts of the emerging new equilibrium and the older-style companies on how to incorporate the new ways without fully destroying the value in the old. An important part of that is a vision of how these pieces will fit together and a viable set of business models for the future.

My background is with several successful startups, including Cobalt Networks, Kana Communications, and Hubble Space Telescope. There is more located at my web page, www.ProductManagementDepartment.com

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