Turning Cash Cows into Mini-Moos
What Would Google Do? By Jeff Jarvis. HarperBusiness, 2009.
In the previous three parts of this review of What Would Google Do?, I’ve looked at how Jarvis’s ideas apply to B2B in terms of its relation to readers, the impact of hyperlinks, and the shift from product journalism to process journalism. The last subject I’ll address is in some ways the most obvious and dramatic: the impact of these areas on the way we do business.
To begin with the most obvious point, as succinctly phrased by Jarvis, “print sucks.” He’s talking here not about the usability of print—give me a hardback over my Kindle in terms of sheer reading ease and pleasure—but about the burden it places on a print-based publisher. “It’s expensive to produce content for print, expensive to manufacture, and expensive to deliver. Print limits your space and your ability to give readers all they want. It restricts your timing and ability to keep readers up-to-the-minute. Print is already stale when its fresh.” And so on. Sure, there will always be a role for print—but it will a very small role indeed. So to the extent that you’re still in print, you need to think carefully about whether you should be.