I am a sucker for defunct browser maker Marc Andreessen’s hip-shooting style. Here he is giving both barrels to the New York Times. [HT: sans serif]
Andreessen: Take the New York Times. They are slow and they are in denial. After 15 years of the Internet, their online division — though it has been very aggressive and well run compared to its peers — still represents only about 10 per cent of the company’s total revenue. And it’s not enough. The core of the business is collapsing.
What’s going to happen is that print subscriptions will decline to a point where it’s no longer economically feasible to keep the printing plants operating. They will be shut down. So will the distribution networks.
When that happens, the only thing left will be revenues from the online divisions. That won’t be enough to cover newsroom costs. There is no way that they have a transition strategy from point A to point B.
SPIEGEL: What would you do differently?
Andreessen: Well, if the newspaper companies all self-destruct because they have failed to come to grips with this transition, then that’s their problem. The people who made horse carriages were not the ones who started car companies.
But here’s the point: there is an enormous market demand for information. It just has to be fulfilled in a way that fits with the technology of our times.
It is also going to open up a lot of opportunities for a new generation of media companies, usually born on the Internet…
SPIEGEL: The World Wide Web has existed for some 15 years now. Has any aspect of it become overwhelming?
Andreessen: Information. I certainly have too much information. It drives me bananas. that’s why I have gone on an information diet.
More here, unless you’re dieting.