The relationship between technology and entertainment epitomizes the dynamic of love/hate.
The high points in this connection can be exhilarating, and the lows swing with equal passion in the converse. These two industries struggle with symbiosis. And they don’t have a choice.
They advance because of and often in spite of each other. And in very recent years, say the last three years or so, the linked (and hyperlinked) dynamic has made for some interesting times.
Hollywood’s had a bit more of a struggle where technology comes in. This old-school, old boys network industry has grappled (with varying success) strides of innovation. (Just ask anyone who’s addressed DRM issues, or perhaps chat with the writers who are now out on strike, partly over digital rights.)
Silicon Valley on the other hand is a place steeped deeply in innovation, and that seems to have little regard, at least where some entrepreneurs are concerned, with building things that have long-term value. For some start-up jockeys it’s all about the quick flip and short attention span. After all, there’s another innovation to get started.
In grazing through some old interviews I’ve done, I came across this one with Mike Arrieta from Sony that I conducted at the 2006 AlwaysOn Stanford Innovation Summit.
His take at the time regarding innovation was that established players are forced to innovate in order to stay ahead, because the idea of always banking on young upstarts (translation – kids right out of school) to keep a company fresh doesn’t make for a strong, long-term strategy to stay innovative.
He says that companies are now being shoved into a state where they must imbue their culture all the way through with innovation so that as the fresh-faced entrepreneurs become seasoned veterans (translation – turn into corporate citizens), the environment will not stifle their creativity but instead allow it to flourish over time.
Will Silicon Valley take the lesson? Time will tell.
In the mean time, here’s my interview with Mike.