Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Original Ipod

Reverse Time Travel is a concept I do not believe in and never will. If it were ever possible, we would have had a visitor from the future by now. I did read this article though and I contemplated the idea that this guy was the classic young man sent back in time who tries to "invent" something from his time in that past so he can make big bucks. Go read it; it will take 3-5 mins.

Is that not mind blowing? I like it for another reason: it shows the Apple people not as genius inventors but as smart applicators of current technology to a smart older idea. This guy was extremely forward thinking with the infrastructure he created in place to help this idea move along and spread. It is comical how he focused attention on how songs could not be pirated with his system. Since he did not forsee households having CPUs or Internet capabilities, it is a noble attempt to bring music into a new era. Sadly, there was the Walkman/CD era to come before his digital dispersal revolution.

Underneath this article lies that sad truth that the music industry has always fought the new and been hesitant to change. This applies to many businesses in smaller degrees, but few as vividly as the recording industry. Rather than grasp and play with a new technology, they fight it tooth and nail, hurting their business. They fought tape players that could record the radio or an album. They repeated that same argument to fight song sharing on the Internet. They destroyed Napster and sued Grammas over filesharing rather than buying file sharing systems like Napster and utilizing them. Few people accept change, but fostering a new idea (like the 1979 Ipod) can keep a business operating and generating new income streams. The rate of technological change is high enough now that the recording industry has probably lost the war because of previous battles it won. Its name is too dirty now. Fighting change and your customers will just lead a business to the graveyard... just ask newspapers.

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