If you want to see “history repeating itself” – you can learn from the television on how wealth can be created. Think of an actor working a few hundred years ago – before the Television came along. A “Tom Cruise” equivalent of the 1800’s. The only way for the old Tom Cruise to make money would be to continuously perform every night in a packed theatre.
There were three problems with this business model. Firstly, the old Tom Cruise would have to continuously perform if he wanted to make money. If he ever fell ill or wanted to take a day off, the old Tom Cruise could not make money.
Secondly, old Tom’s audience was limited. He would work on Broadway and so the people of New York would be his target market and limited to the couple of thousand that could pack into the theater every night. If he wanted more people to see him perform he would have to tour different cities – having to start to build his brand locally every time as people would probably not have seen him before in the different cities.
Thirdly, the old Tom would be stuck doing the same thing over and over again. He could not be creative and work on the next play as if he moved on to a new project, who would perform on the old project?
When the Television and Cinema came along – Tom Cruise of the 1980s had a much easier time creating his wealth. All he had to do was act once. Work on every scene until he got it just right. And once he did, he could relax. If he fell ill or took a few days off, Top Gun could still be seen around the world. All he would have to do is visit a few television shows to help promote the movie once in a while. While he started working on his next movie, his old movie could still create wealth for him.
Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Springer, Michael Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, the cast of Friends and a whole lot of other celebrities had a lot to be thankful for to the television for creating vast fortunes.
The internet will simply amplify the television even further. Now you don’t need to be based in Hollywood to be able to clone yourself. People around the world can do the work once – producing content – and can be seen forever. And there are other advantages. You can create your movie and it can be seen at anytime – rather than at set times on a television set or for a few months in the cinema. Overtime making money from advertising or charging people to watch your movie online will become more popular so the revenue models through content creation will be huge.
Creative people around the world have a greater opportunity than any time in history to create more wealth for themselves thanks to the internet. Making the number of millionaires created by the television a mere fraction of what will be created thanks to the internet over the next few decades.
You don’t even need a broadcasting license to start your own TV channel. The Tom Cruise’s of the world have much more competition from “nobodys” like you and I over the next few decades.
It is easier to learn the impact of a new technology by seeing how a similar technology impacted previous points in history. Knowing about a change that is coming and taking advantage of it are two different things.
Are you ready for the webonomy?
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