Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tethered Content business model

What do you think about the tethered content business model?  To recap, this is when you can only access content from a certain location, such as inside a store.  If you wander off, the content will disappear (hopefully with an alert first!).

When I first heard about this, I wasn’t sure where it makes any kind of logical sense.  I think it originated as a form of digital browsing.  When you are inside a bookstore (or library), you can flip through the books digitally just like you can physically.  But in the same way you can’t take the book outside without purchasing it (or checking it out), you can’t view it on your e-reader outside either.  An art gallery (or museum) could do this with high-res images of its works or audio guides that play when you are looking at something historic. 

But what else makes sense?  Anything else I can think of, it makes more sense for the company or organization to let you access the content from home.  A shoe store’s inventory, a restaurant’s menu, movie reviews, all work to bring you inside in the first place. 

I suppose there are some geolocation games for which this makes sense just because it adds a scavenger hunt feature to the information.  Games often have counter-intuitive features because added challenge is part of what makes the game fun.

Any other ideas?

Can America Compete?

There is a fantastic compilation of economic analyses in Harvard Magazine.  They present a series of interviews in which incredibly knowledgeable and insightful thought leaders describe something they wrote a Harvard Business Review article about recently.  An added perk is that they made the cited HBR articles available for free for the next month.

What I like best about this article is that in less than 20 pages you can learn more about the current state of the economy, what to expect in the near future, what we need to do going forward – basically the wisdom of a generation in about 30 minutes of reading. 

Authors include Michael Porter and Jan Rivkin (on US competitiveness), Wally Shih (on manufacturing in the US), Mihir Desai (the future of compensation and performance incentives), Thomas Kochan (on the workforce and jobs), Rosabeth Moss Kanter (on the business ecosystem), and David Moss (on political dysfunction). 

I can’t recommend enough to anyone who has a job, wants a job, cares about the country, cares about the economy, plans to vote,  or is interested in the way the world works to read this article.  Even if you know a lot already about these topics, you will learn even more.  And if you don’t know much, this is essential reading.