TLDR: Disruption Theory in journalism

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By Clay Christensen (these highlights provided for you by Annotote)

Disruption Theory in journalism (2012) by @claychristensen @dskok @jamesallworth

[Publishers] remain mired in the innovator’s dilemma: A false choice between today’s revenues and tomorrow’s digital promise.

it shouldn’t be a surprise when new entrants like The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, which began life as news aggregators, begin their march up the value network … They are classic disruptors.

The problem is that too many newsrooms’ strategies are based around exactly this assumption — that their businesses can best be explained in terms of key demographics, price points, or distribution platforms. Instead, a better way of thinking about the business you’re in is through the lens of a theory that we call jobs-to-be-done. The basic idea is that people don’t go around looking for products to buy. Instead, they take life as it comes and when they encounter a problem, they look for a solution — and at that point, they’ll hire a product or service.
#JTBD framework

a huge job in the media market [is] “I have 10 minutes of downtime. Help me fill it with something interesting or entertaining.”

too often, consumers are unable to articulate exactly what it is they are looking for, their thinking constrained by the solutions that already exist in the market.

The jobs are consistent — it’s the products that change

journalism’s “middle ground” has eroded as new products have appeared at either end of the market for news and information. At the low end, products and services like Metro and Twitter are serving consumers whose need is simply “Help me fill this 10 minutes right now” … At the other end of the spectrum, for the job of “[I have] four hours, and I want to be intellectually stimulated,” sites like Longreads and tools like Instapaper and Pocket
#parsing #parsed

content must be so compelling that users will pay for it. This requires targeting the right jobs.

News organizations used to control the gathering, packaging, distribution and sale of the news product. Today, journalism is a disintegrated and open process.

Most traditional news organizations operate a value chain that is made up of three distinct parts. First, there is the newsgathering; this comprises all the resources and processes required to collect, write, shoot, edit, produce and package news and information. Second, there is the distribution of the product; this encompasses all the ways that news organizations get their content into the hands of the audience. Third, there is the selling of the news; this part includes not only sales and subscriptions but also advertising and marketing.

General interest and breaking news reporting comprised of answering the “who, what, when and where” has become commoditized … The value for news organizations now increasingly lies in providing context and verification — reporting the “how, why and what it means” — and facilitating communities around that news and information.

What can sales and marketing teams do to create additional value? Consulting services, event marketing, and long-tail repurposing are three possibilities.

There are three factors that affect what an organization can and cannot do: its resources, its processes, and its priorities … these factors might affect their organization’s capacity to change.

There are several possible ways to [produce change]:

  1. Creating new capabilities internally …
  2. Spinning out an independent organization [#skunk works] …
  3. Acquiring a different organization [#M&A]

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