My startup, Socialize, is a part of a great media accelerator sponsored by Turner Broadcasting called MediaCamp.
Turner has created MediaCamp specifically because it believes that it needs to be proactive in thinking about what disruptive technologies could affect its legacy line of businesses, and how to take advantage of them vs. having them disrupt its business. It's definitely forward thinking of Turner to dedicate the resources necessary to fund an accelerator program, especially when its parent company, TimeWarner, made $29 billion in revenue and almost $3 billion in net income last year.
In fact, media companies face the classic Innovator's Dilemma: It's hard (impossible?) to dedicate meaningful resources and focus to technologies that aren't generating billions of dollars in revenue and income when the current business is a cash cow. Obviously, startups don't have this problem.
We've been having a spirited debate about the Innovator's Dilemma at Media Camp, and how Turner has been addressing it. But here's the thing I can't quite rationalize and understand: What's a meaningful disruption timeframe for a media company to plan around? And specifically, how does any company predict that timeframe to take meaningful action on it when they don't know what disruptive adoption curves might look like?
The reason I'm asking this question is because of graphs like this, of world population growth, that looked to be linear for a long time but were actually more than exponential: