The Effort of Staying the Same

Everyone knows that change is inevitable.

We resisted factories, cars, planes, radio, telephone, TV, then cable TV, then satellite TV and now internet TV. We resist cultural change, immigration, emigration, new political parties, desegregation, feminism, homosexuality, atheism and new religions. We resisted PCs, then Macs, the mouse, Ethernet, the Internet, email, cellphones, 3G, music downloads, and Fon.

And it all happened. Despite the best efforts, the best arguments and the deepest pockets, it all changes. Always. It’s inevitable. Sometimes it’s simply because the defenders of change die out (we all get old) and sometimes its the overwhelming force of a grass roots movement that slowly builds up over decades. At times its a fast and furious revolution. Like the “Internet Age”

And yet it seems that Douglas Adams was right in saying that “Humans are unique in that they have the capability of learning from experience but refuse to do so.” [Paraphrased.]

The people at AP see change in their industry: the newspaper and magazine ecosystem has shrunk by $7.5B in 10 years. Their reaction: “We must stop change!”

It is a route that is doomed to failure. The music industry changed, the telephony industry changed, the book industry changed, and the news industry will change too.

Expending effort to keep it the same is just a waste of time and money. Resources that would be much better spent at changing along.

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