Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Looking for the ideal Digital Executive

Ever since the internet revolution boomed in the 1990s, companies around the world have gone in search for people who are comfortable with all that new terminology, ‘paradigms’ (a much hated word ) and the relentless pace of change.

Earlier, the hunt for ‘digital savvy’ talent was the domain of all companies, but this time around the media companies feel most threatened by the Web 2.0 changes – the users getting charge, the rise of online news and online video and so forth.

The New York Times writes on the issue and posts a mock advertising:

Seeking Executive to Tame the Digital Future

WANTED Digital media genius to guide a nimble — or at least we like to think we are — media giant through transformation from analog to digital in all its gory glory.

JOB DESCRIPTION To take all the stuff we produce for other formats, like TV or print or film, and figure out how to shovel it onto the Internet in a way that makes money.

QUALIFICATIONS The ideal candidate might also have ideas for ways to make a few dollars online that don’t directly stem from our so-called traditional media businesses. (You know — like that whole user-generated thing that the kids are doing. P.S., loved the video clips about how Mentos and Diet Coke mixed together create a chemical reaction — maybe we can turn it into a prime-time special or a theme park ride financed by these brands?)

COMPENSATION Pretty sweet for as long as you last.

RETIREMENT BENEFITS Well, don’t plan on it.

I think talent is a trial and error thing.

Google does the talent thing the best, in view of many. The media companies may do well to follow example and practice the 80-20 rule (20% of time on digital media experiments), small teams, etc.

You learn best by doing it.


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