The Media Swan: Black or White?

May 6, 2009Sparxoo

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Photo by Kym Parry on Stock.Xchng

By David Capece, Managing Partner

From sports to relationships, politics to war, and of course in business, we are obsessed with imaging and predicting the future.  We can observe trends, analyze data, and tap into the brains of experts.  Despite this, much of the future remains unpredictable.  In some cases, being correct may be as much luck as it is genius.  My Dad always said, “better to be lucky than smart, but ideally you’d like a bit of both.”

For a great commentary on the unpredictable, we recommend reading the Black Swan.  The book posits, could anyone have known just how big Google would become?  In retrospect, it may be obvious, but this is 10 years later.  The truth is that we are constantly overestimating or underestimating the impact of factors, or in some cases not even considering the possibility (think 9/11).

While aware of the limitations in predicting the future, our team at Sparxoo is unveiling our crystal ball on the future of media.  We have immersed ourselves in youth culture, video game wars, and social worlds.  We have considered scenarios in which the New York Times can transform itself or alternatively becomes another print casualty.  We are inspired by the trends toward empowerment in stretching reality.  We are intrigued by the escalating battle between Google and Apple.  Is Microsoft even in the game?

We wonder whether the next phase in the digital world will be Darwinian in weeding out the weak at the expense of the surviving strong.  Or if there will be a seismic shift and the emergence of something completely new.  In the evolutionary world, Twitter will become the most important story of 2009 and could become dominant quite quickly.  In the seismic shift world, there may be a new technology or innovation that is not even on the radar.  Or perhaps there will be a cultural shift towards simplicity in which ever-complex digital growth is shunned.  Or we may fall victim to a super hack-attack that changes the landscape dramatically.  Indeed, the Black Swan is always lurking around the corner, and we must respect its presence.

While our success rate might be as poor as a major league hitter (success 1 out of every 3 at bats is considered outstanding), we are excited to share our window into the future of media.  With some luck and some smarts, we hope to identify tomorrow’s innovations and provide a glimpse into a new media frontier.  We hope you find this to be thought provoking and your feedback is always welcome.  Without further ado, we present the future of media.