Does the Experience Curve apply to Journalism?

April 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media

Just read this, linked from Twitter by deputy editor Paul Colgan, and had to post it immediately. I’m not saying “experience” is what’s wrong with journalism today, but experience could be what’s wrong with journalism today.

The experience curve was simple and powerful. But it had one troublesome characteristic. Every experience curve was in the end a diminishing returns curve. The more experience accumulated in a specific industry, the longer it took to get the next increment of performance improvement.

Does the Experience Curve Matter Today? The Big Shift – Harvard Business

Just shut up and do your bit as a piece in the small cog, until you have the experience that warrants having an opinion worth listening to. Of course people need experience, but demanding institutionalised experience over any other kind of experience could snuff out the next round of innovation and performance improvement. Maybe that really is what’s killing the news today.

Can institutionalised experience bring about the breath of life, and innovation, that the news media needs? If not, where will that innovation come from? Am I being unfair? Let me know in the comments.

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4 Responses to “Does the Experience Curve apply to Journalism?”
  1. perhaps its just that journalism has yet to experience a ‘disruptive innovation’… or has it? … does Twitter or an offspring thereof fit the bill [especially in Google’s hands?] (see

    • Dave Earley says:

      @David – the Internet is the disruptive innovation! In the same way that the printing press was a disruptive innovation to meticulously handcrafted books and the industry that produced them, the internet has turned publishing upside down and shaken it vigorously. Maybe that’s where all the coin went!! Anyway, so the disruptive innovation also applies to journalism and broadcasting as those old content creation norms and ways to make money sort of…disappear.

    • Amberly says:

      Kick the tires and light the fires, problem ofiflialcy solved!

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