Self-Publishing and the Silicon Valley Fortune Teller

Surprisingly good interview with Netscape founder and Silicon Valley gazillionaire Marc Andreessen the other day. Andreessen thinks a lot about the future – not in a dreamy, techno-utopian way, but because every day he has the best and brightest inventors and entrepreneurs pitching their visions to him. And what does he see?

Newspapers, magazines, television. How are these companies going to make money? What’s the future for them?

So this has been—the media industry is a microcosm of the changes that are happening, and it’s been fascinating to watch. People are always going to love music, movies, TV, and news—it’s evergreen; people are always going to get value out of media. So it’s not a question of whether people want media or not. And in fact, global consumption of media is rising very fast. It’s a huge growth market.

Agreed! So how’s it going to change?

The challenge I think is that in newspapers, magazines, and television, in particular, and books to a certain extent, you had businesses that looked like they were content businesses but were actually distribution businesses. They had controlled distribution rights on the newsstand, on your front porch, on the cable or broadcast dial.

Absolutely right. And now… what do they do when even the lowliest scribblers can bypass their distribution business? Continue reading

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