Few assets are as precious to the rangers of Yellowstone as the park’s “content”: the stirring flora and fauna spread across its millions of acres. Yet in 1988 those assets were allowed to burn, and by those who cared the most about them.
On the face of it, it’s a strange narrative. But it contains enormous lesson s for business confronting digital fires – economic conflagrations induced by digital technologies.
Few assets are as precious to billions of people around the world as the content they consume every day – books, songs, programs, newspapers, movies. It’s perfectly natural, then, that all businesses, entrepreneurs and creatively inclined people would try hard to nurture and produce “the best” content. It’s perfectly natural that they would focus on any trigger that appeared to undermine its value or any spark that might enhance it. It’s perfectly natural that they would try to preserve the value of content in the face of inexorable decline. And it’s perfectly natural that they would search for solutions by looking to others who also produce or manage content.
These are seemingly rational and sensible behaviors that turn out to be flawed. This is The Content Trap.