Mark Jung, former chief operating officer of MySpace, made an intriguing comment in this iinnovate podcast about how experience in an outdated marketplace can impede your success today, where the factors for success may be based on different rules.
The interviewer asks Jung, "If you were an MBA student today, what kind of opportunities would you be looking for?" Jung says:
It's a great time, frankly, to come out as an MBA student. I think it's a huge opportunity to come out as a graduate student now because specifically traditional skills, traditional organizations, independent of their size and the assets that they've built, are in many ways obsolete. Which means no one really has a competitive advantage.
Whether you have 30 years of experience, or you're a fresh MBA grad with two days post graduation, you're on a level playing field. And I actually would argue for the fresh grad, you're not encumbered by what has made you successful in the past. So you're going to take more risks, you're going to do things different. You're going to try an experiment in areas where experience for other individuals will be an impediment — no that doesn't work, that can't work, I wouldn't do that. That's never worked. Those kinds of statements are based upon assumptions and conditions of marketplaces that existed twenty years ago in media or distribution that do not exist today. (8 min. mark)
In other words, what was true 20 years ago in the marketplace may be false today. If you're making decisions based on successes you had in a 20 year old marketplace, those experiences can hinder your success in today's marketplace.
What traditions were successful 10-20 years ago that might be unsuccessful today? I've thought of a few, but since I wasn't in the industry 10-20 years ago, I have to speculate.
Let me know if you can add to this list.
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