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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2022

Helping publishers innovate: There is no moon

Innovation is one of the essential focus areas for publishers, but it is also well known that the media is really crappy at innovating in general. And it's not because of a lack of trying. I'm often asked by media executives how they can innovate better, or even what they should innovate.

So, the problem with innovation is not really a lack of desire to innovate, but rather it's about a lack of direction, a lack of organization, and a lack of just plain knowledge or understanding about what to do.

In this Plus article, I will try to help you fix that. What do publishers need to change to get better at innovation?

Sept. 12. 1962

I want to start this article by bringing you back 60 years to September 12, 1962. On this day, at Rice University Stadium in Houston, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy took to the podium and gave the now famous 'moon speech', telling the US public that they had decided to go to the moon.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.

Of course, today, we know that this speech was largely a form of PR spin because Kennedy didn't believe in this. The US was losing the space race to the Russians. Russia had launched the first satellite, they had the first booster, the first animal in space, the first person in space, and they had even landed the first object on the moon (well, crashed it into the moon to be more precise).

 
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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé

 

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