In early 2001, I was working on an event for Publisher’s Weekly. The theme of the conference was “Opportunities and Challenges”, and the program was created to address the fear within the book publishing industry over new technologies and shifting preferences in media consumption. At the time- and one could argue still- the publishing industry wasn’t sure how to deal with the fact that their customers were reading more on their screens than they were on paper, or that their content was being “Napster-ized” (remember Napster?).
In an odd, one-time “cameo” role, I was the voice-over on the conference’s information line.
It must have taken me a dozen or so takes just to get the right inflection on the words “Opportunities and Challenges”.
Little did I know how relevant those words would be, eight short years later.
Let’s start with the challenges. Regardless of what business you’re in, we’re reminded on a daily basis of all the challenges that we’re currently facing. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room, except that seeing the 800-pound gorilla isn’t so shocking anymore. He’s been hanging out in the room for a minute now, eating our fruit roll-ups and ordering Pay-Per-View movies without asking.
With all challenges, however, (warning, we’re in the middle of cliche-land) come opportunities. And while many of these opportunities can seem distant and impossible to achieve for a myriad of reasons, sometimes all it takes is a little perspective and imagination to better understand the bigger picture.
So what’s the point, and why am I droning on (cue voice over) on “Opportunities and Challenges”? Take a few minutes and watch the video below.
It was produced by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Bronman and it will the best four minutes of your day.