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Industry Insight

Understanding Failure and managing expectations

There is a concept that has been bothering me for a long time now.

By Bob Sacks
Published: August 14, 2012

There is a concept that has been bothering me for a long time now. I suppose it falls under the category of managing expectations.

Somehow we as an industry have decided that if a title or two fails on the tablet it means that the entire tablet platform is suspect and probably doomed. If that logic were true then every time a printed magazine were to die on the newsstand the entire newsstand process would need to be dissected for where we all wentwrong.

Hogwash, not every title needs to survive to justify our continued existence. There is a necessary ebb and flow to survival and not all species and titles are expected to live forever. Businessman and nature experiment with tangents and some prosper and some don't. The success or failure of an experiment has nothing to do with the overall longevity of our continuance.

Magazines have been dying for generations and new ones are born. Entire categories have come, conquered, and then totally disappeared, as is natural and normal. Their disappearance is not a reflection on the entire industry, but rather of that particular category and that particular title at that particular time.

Times change, people's reading habits and their personal interests change, but the need to be informed and interested in something is a universal want and societal necessity. Society is not dying, there will always be brain surgeons, lawyers, architects, tradesmen and even publishers. There will be the necessary professions of a sophisticated and informed, modern, global society, and that means there will always be readers.

We all must stop the whining and start producing material worth reading and paying for in the 21st century. Someone's going to do it and make a fortune in the process -- why not us?


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