Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Demise of HMV

Nothing could save HMV - the future (for good or ill) is digital downloads.  All HMV, Waterstones and Blockbusters can hope to do is manage the decline down to a niche of collectors who actually like the physical objects. 
If you accept that what we want is the music/film/words, then CDs/DVDs/Books are just the media and shops selling them are doomed.

Actually doomed is the wrong word.  It suggests something that is going to happen, when it already has.

Myself, I used to love shops - but I don't need or use them now apart from to find things to download.  It's part of what killed the Word, you know... my favourite magazine apart from the Economist, which incidentally I now read exclusively in an electronic version.  The paper copy goes into the bin each weekend, because it arrives after I have already read much of the newpaper.

This change may be a good thing or a bad thing, but it is here and no doubt people will continue to talk about it until our generation(s) shuffle off this mortal coil.  But the younger generations will struggle to understand why we are nostalgic.  Why worry about something being replaced by something that gives you what you want quicker (and cheaper, with more choice)?

Interesting article about this from their marketing agency here, which lead me to think about the book How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins.

In business you need to worry about this sort of thing if you intend to still be in business in say 20 years.  Will we need taxis if we have self-driving cars?  (yes, until the drink driving rules change, but after that?)  Will we need lorry drivers?

I think my core businesses of trainer and consultant are safe for my working life time (30 years at most), but I would not like to bet that they will be in 50 years.  How about your job?

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