David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines has not only invested in digital but has the type of innovative thinking that places Hearst way ahead of its competitors. Hearst has a long term view digitally; and unlike most big magazine publishers Hearst owns every line of code of their core digital magazine products on the Apple Newsstand. Thus, Hearst is not reliant on toolsets or readers produced by others.
Realizing that premium digital content will take many forms, Hearst has positioned themselves with virtually every vendor or distributor. Aside from being with Zinio a long time, Hearst was the first big publisher to feature their entire catalog on Nook almost simultaneously to their launch a year ago. They were the first to come to terms with Apple on their app subscription mechanisms and were also first to jump abroad with Amazon on a deal so expansive that it touches both Hearst's print and e-commerce products.
The portal age of massive scale, free to consumers, audience only focus is shifting to the background in favor of brand focused strategy and vision. Of interest; Carey recently commented about how the cable business is the foundation of profitability for the parent companies of most major publishers such as Hearst, Time Inc. and Conde Nast. He added if digital is to move to scale in profitability for publishers than perhaps the current billing business model needs to change. And that rather than a yearly charge, magazines bundle their different services both print and digital and charge a monthly fee. Imagine if a cable company sold one of its premium service packages on a yearly basis? Rather than the consumer receiving a monthly bill of $199 imagine the sticker shock of a $2,388 yearly fee. Carey's thinking makes a great deal of sense.
What Makes Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman of LinkedIn so Smart & Successful?
Is it his four smartphones or the up to 400 e-mails he fields each day? He not only has a second full time job as a partner at Greylock, the venture capital firm; but sits on the Boards of eight companies. According to Gina Bianchini, the founder of Internet start-ups Ning and Mightybell: "He's like an early warning system for something great in Silicon Valley." Adds Cyriac Roeding, the founder of Shopkick: "I've never made a significant move, or decision without consulting him."
One clue: when Reid Hoffman philosophizes about technology he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece. He urges entrepreneurs to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt technologies. Hoffman says that entrepreneurs often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them. "Build a compact piece of work with the right leverage and you can solve a very big problem," he adds.
A graduate of Stanford, where he majored in symbolic systems, the study of the relationship between computing and human intelligence. Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal was a college friend stated: "Reid was always interested in creating communities." After Stanford Reid went to Oxford and realized his idea of becoming a professor was too confining. The issue was scale: "When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time. But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly."
What's next? In much the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon. This one, he believes will be driven by data. For example, Hoffman has been investing in such data driven companies as Shopkick and Groupon. The two aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits.
Steve's most recent book You Can't Fall Off The Floor - The Insiders' Guide to Re-Inventing Yourself and Your Career chronicles his 50 year career working for over 25 different companies with 189 lessons learned and insider tips from Gayle King, Cathie Black, Chuck Townsend and 28 others; Blacker is still going strong today as a partner in Frankfurt & Blacker Solutions, LLC. His web site is blacker-reinventions.com and e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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