In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter wrote that creative destruction is an ‘essential fact of capitalism’. Old ways of doing things need to fall aside to make space for more productive methods. Another essential fact of capitalism is that it drives an ever increasing pace of change, and we see these two essential facts coming together in the chart above which shows $40bn in revenues disappearing from the newspaper industry in little over ten years – an amazingly rapid collapse by historical standards.
That money hasn’t disappeared, it’s been taken by something else, and the good news behind this chart is that innovators somewhere have captured this $40bn and harnessed it for the good of their companies. Some of those innovators are in the news industry, but most will be in other industries entirely.
As the pace of change and creative destruction continues to increase we will see charts like this more and more often. Banking revenues is one I’m particularly looking forward to, however, it won’t just be old world industries that suffer. Operating systems and personal productivity software are two newer categories that are suffering the same fate and I wouldn’t be surprised if search advertising goes the same way before too much longer.