Apple has come a long way from predictions of doom and gloom.
One sign of this struck me when I hit The Washington Post‘s site today. They have a small teaser ad (that doesn’t animate, jump, flip, split, twirl or anything and I noticed it — pay attention ad designers) for their “PC Buyer’s Guide.”
Apple is now an icon for PC coverage.
Whatever the company’s faults may be they have spirit and take risks. And for that, they’ve been rewarded with a successfull business, (it’s about high-margin hardware sales not market penetration), growing legions of fans, and numerous awards.
Everyone says the end of newspapers is near. We’re antiquated, we can’t do anything right. We’ve got quality issues and a dwindling audience.
They said the same thing about Apple.
So as 2003 quickly fades away, I challenge the newspaper industry — let’s be Apple, not Dell.
# *Let’s take risks* — do more with our Web sites, explore new distriubtion and advertising models, let’s innovate, not duplicate.
# *Let’s focus on quality* — sure Britney Spears, Bennifer, and Kournikova will get you one-off sales and clicks, but let’s not commoditize news. Our readers, our advertisers, our communities, our nation deserves better than that. Let’s break news, get in-depth, provide context. Anyone can produce cheap news (and anyone can make cheap computers). Let’s make quality our value proposition and our product differential.
# *Let’s make money, the right way* — Apple isn’t a charity, and neither is the news business. But no one said being a good company and making money are mutually exclusive. If we produce quality, innovative products and cultivate a loyal following of readers, we can serve them well, make money and in turn, make a better product and a better community.