Monday, November 30, 2009

The long tail of employment: Media version

Great read in the NY Times this morning: The Fall and Rise of Media. It tells the story of the collapse of big media:
Few of us could have conceived that in the next decade some of the reigning titans of media would be routed. Profligate dot-com ad money that had fattened print went away in a digital wipeout, and when digital media came back, it was to dine on the mainstream media rather than engorge it. After 2000, jobs in traditional media industries declined at a rate of about 2.5 percent annually and then went into a dive in 2008 or so.
And about the young upstarts that are finding their way through this new landscape:
For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.
I suspect that this is a story fixed to play itself out over and over again. Media just happened to be one of the early casualties. There is zero reason to believe that this same scenario isn't unfolding for all formerly closed enterprises, and if you think your enterprise is still closed you're just hiding your head in the sand. It's going to require very different skills to survive in a world where employment is just another Pareto Distribution.

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