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Strategic insights
Understanding Change And Predicting Trends

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Written by on June 14, 2013

Raise your hand if you've heard this one before. "We can't even keep up with what's happening tomorrow, so all we can do is react!"

This is pretty much how most brands and media companies embrace change. Because change is happening at an ever faster pace, and because the format of change involves new types of technology that we have never seen before, most people find themselves in some kind of shell-shock.

And some might say, why shouldn't we just react? Isn't that good enough? Why not let the other companies try out all the new things and make all the mistakes, and then we can get in the game when the market is ready for it?

But in this article I'm going to show you why you need to change early, and how to predict when that is.

Note: I have overly-simplified all the graphs in the article to better illustrate how change happens.

Let's start with the media industry. The graph below illustrates the advertising revenue figures for US newspapers for the past 35 years (source: The State of the News Media).

As you can see, the media industry was growing at a fantastic rate. Everything seemed right, and nothing indicated that it was facing imminent collapse. From the 1980s to 2002, the future absolutely looked to be in the media industry's favor.

Then in 2003, the curve started to level out. At first this didn't seem to be much of a problem, until we reached 2005, and the future of newspapers just disappeared. It went from amazing growth, to dropping catastrophically.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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