News Leadership 3.0

October 13, 2008

Link: Innovation lessons for newspapers?

Amazon soars, eBay struggles -
Chris O’Brien explores lessons
for the newspaper industry

I suggested recently that newsroom executives look, among other things, at whether their organizations were investing in R&D and in staff time to innovate.

Now comes Chris O’Brien with an interesting post on the role of innovation in business success. O’Brien cites a piece on the rivalry between Amazon and eBay— “Amid the Gloom, an E-Commerce War,” by Brad Stone in the New York Times on Saturday.

Says O’Brien:

“As I read the piece, I was struck by some of the ways eBay’s problems mirror those of newspapers: They had a legacy business (auctions) that once made them dominant, but was now falling out of favor among consumers. Despite the obvious warning signs, executives repeatedly refused to fundamentally re-examine their core business model.’‘

Meanwhile, as Amazon boss Jeff Bezos explains in an interview with Stone:

“Mr. Bezos credits Amazon’s tolerance for risky, expensive bets like the Kindle electronic reading device. “Our willingness to be misunderstood, our long-term orientation and our willingness to repeatedly fail are the three parts of our culture that make doing this kind of thing possible,” he said.

Is your organization an eBay or an Amazon? What experiments look promising right now?

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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