DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: Why you must stop comparing everything new to something old!

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

It’s an established strategy of comparison:

Podcasting is the new radio

TV is the new movie theater

Uber is the new taxi

Side note: For me, Ubers compete much more with Rental cars.

Etc. etc. The list goes on.

I see this concept when driving Uber as well. The questions compare to what you might ask cab drivers: “How much do you charge to <somewhere>?” Check the app. I really don’t know until we get there. “How can I call you?” In the app.

When I was speaking in Berlin, we were in a bad rain storm and I was able to call an Uber while others had trouble calling by phone taxis.

A lady asked me: “could you call me an Uber too?”

Nope, but I can help you install the app and show you how. I wasn’t rude, but you can’t call more than one Uber for one person.

Of course phone calling for a cab you could order a bunch at once.

I’m actually starting to think that the constant comparing of new to old is actually killing business.

Let’s take print journalism once again. For years – maybe decades by now – people would say they need to move the print model to digital.

They tried so hard and some made some money. Paywalls work sometimes – but not often. Ads run but advertisers now want metrics. “Those clicks are low.” Well, that’s industry standard. They are quick to forget that they used to pay much more for print where they had no metrics.

But digital is different. Companies make money by creating great user experiences and gently pushing consumers down the marketing funnel.

And I’m not saying never compare anything new to something old. I also like the concept of idea links where innovators apply ideas from other verticals to theirs.

So I’m not again learning from the past. I like to learn and move things forward. But putting a new ball into an old industry square just so we can try to understand it better might not help us in the long-term.

I actually wonder if we do this compare new to old thing to be more comfortable. Oh yes, it’s just like that. No need to fear the change. We are fine! And then we wonder when we aren’t.

We shouldn’t fear the change anyway, but you know how it goes.

The other day I heard that for every journalism job there are now five public relations jobs. Nothing against PR people here! But we need journalists.

Of course, the journalism industry has seen layoffs after layoffs when they tried to attempt to move print to digital.

Instead we should focus on applying our skills, audience and more to the new world of digital multi-channel experiences.

We can stay relevant and be innovative when we understand the different channels and adjust our strategies to them.