Why do media companies often seem to fail at innovating on new digital platforms?

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With their substantial resources and vast expertise when it comes to content creation and monetisation, one would think that media companies would be ideally situated to successfully leverage new platforms. Yet often, the opposite proves true.

“Aging and inflexible publishing platforms inhibit making use of content in innovative and dynamic new ways. Requests for new implementations must be justified financially in ways that the legacy business can easily demonstrate, but speculative new projects (the future) cannot. At the same time, companies overinvest in new capabilities — for example, sleek video production facilities — when an iPhone camera would most likely do.

Frustrated by all this, the internal innovators ultimately tend to get fed up and leave. True entrepreneurs don’t stay long in big companies. Senior executives who oversaw failures most likely will contact a recruitment firm and land a new role somewhere else. As a result, the company retains little institutional memory, and keeps making the same mistakes again and again.”

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