In the 1970's personal computers began challenging the future of IBM, the undisputed leader in mainframe computers. Change was imminent, with or without IBM. In order to address this, management had someone look at the process for bringing a new IBM personal computer to market. What they found was that it would take at least nine months to ship an empty box.
I mean, it's like getting four hundred thousand people to agree what they want to have for lunch.
-- Rich Seider, Former IBM Programmer (from Robert X Cringely's PBS program Challenge of the Nerds)
IBM's solution was the epitome of desperation. In order to ship a computer in time for it to matter, they decided that the only thing they could do is to build a PC using hardware from existing suppliers. Hardware that any other company could buy or copy. As soon as other companies figured out how to legally clone the PC, IBM was done.
IBM should rightfully own the world right now, the internet, the whole thing. Instead a little known company they approached for a necessary piece of software called Microsoft acted on opportunities IBM should have seen. But they got too big, they forgot to stay nimble. They blew it.
I've seen it again and again, companies are sometimes unable or unwilling to change. It's always seems safest to stay the course, don't make a scene, just say no to that idea, don't give them resources. You can always say that it wasn't your fault and that management told you what to do. But in the long run, you end up sacrificing your company's potential...and their future.
I worked in the print industry when I first got out of college, but I switched over to the internet as soon as I saw what it would become. It was easier to make a career change when the internet was young, but also dangerous, it was uncharted territory. The first company I worked at went through several layoffs, which was deeply painful in every way imaginable.
I saw this same mentality in the Radio industry and then on TV. It's tough to find managers who are comfortable with change. The best ones recognize good new ideas and allow them to flourish internally, then provide the resources to see things grow. That's how the Mac and the iPhone were invented. That's how you avoid what happened to IBM.
Education is on the move. YouTube and the rest of the competition are rapidly changing expectations on what people are used to seeing when learning new things. There is a lot of experimentation and it's tough to be bold enough to go with it. But at some point, change is necessary.
This reminds me of a scene in Interstellar. Cooper, the main character has to dock his spacecraft with a ship that's partially blown. The spacecraft is spinning out of control. Debris flying everywhere, things look bleak.
Cooper: Get ready to match our spin with the retro-thrusters
Case: It’s not possible!
Cooper: No, it’s necessary
Case in point, besides my social focus, I've been experimenting a lot with live streaming and I feel like I'm close to getting comfortable with the format. I decided that if I play my cards right, then some of the content from the live stream can serve as mini reviews for other purposes, so I came up with Toolbox Shorts.
Recut the branding into a shorter intro, designed new thumbnails. There's a lot of different pieces to these things that I didn't realize I needed. For every video, I need to have a thumbnail, good descriptions, graphics for overlays. It's quite a ton of work.
Thankfully, my favorite editor Screenflow, just released an update that gives you a quick way to create title overlays. You can see some of them on the video above, but check it out on this review.
I know After Effects and other editors can do all that, but dang if ScreenFlow isn't just made for quick editing of the type of work I need to do.
I don't need to do this, but I can see where things are going. Being social isn't just a luxury, but part of being a Creator. The way you teach with video is changing to incorporate live action and the editing structure and writing has to evolve with that.
Sometimes change is something you can avoid until it becomes necessary. Hopefully you're constantly challenging yourself to change and to grow with new technologies, start before you need to, or you might end up in like IBM.
I'm having a ton of fun doing it and hopefully my experiments will pay off.