The following article appeared in our most recent Ads&Ideas Newsletter.
By Tony Silber
All companies, and all industries, face the existential challenge to adapt. In futurist Ian Morrison’s “first-curve-second-curve” model of business economics, the most treacherous curves are hidden. It’s the unforeseen competitor. It’s new skillsets, capabilities and distribution methods that become essential, but seem marginal when they emerge—“edge” activities.
The challenge of the “first-curve-second-curve” model is that “edge” activities suddenly become central, and companies often realize it too late. Things always look best just before a company (or industry) goes into decline. Revenue is surging and profits robust. Once a company knows it’s in trouble, once the red flags emerge, the die is cast. Publishers seeking to reach the second curve need to succeed at what they’re doing and at what they’re trying to become simultaneously. Once a company hits a revenue stall, according to Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever in their 2008 book, “Stall Points,” it has less than a 10% chance of ever fully recovering.
Here, says James G. Elliott Co. President Jim Elliott, is where many magazine companies falter, especially in the advertising sales discipline. He and his team have developed a list of the most common missteps around advertising that may prevent publishing companies from reaching the second curve. Read More