Manufacturing guy-at-large.


Added on by Spencer Wright.

Marc Andreessen, writing about the future of the news business. Emphasis is mine.

The best approach is to think like a 100% owner of your company with long-term time horizon. Then you work backward to the present and see what makes sense and what remains. Versus, here is what we have now, how do we carry it forward?...

There are some artifacts and ideas in the journalism business that arguably are counterproductive to the growth of both quality journalism and quality businesses. It’s why some organizations are finding it so hard to move forward.

An obvious one is the bloated cost structure left over from the news industry’s monopoly/oligopoly days. Nobody promised every news outfit a shiny headquarters tower, big expense accounts, and lots of secretaries!

Unions and pensions are another holdover. Both were useful once, but now impose a structural rigidity in a rapidly changing environment. They make it hard to respond to a changing financial environment and to nimbler competition. The better model for incentivizing employees is sharing equity in the company.

I tend to agree that unions and pensions are outdated, but it's often difficult to relay the complexity of the situation without sounding overwhelmingly conservative. Andreessen's suggestion is more interesting: replace unions and pensions with equity. I find this quite agreeable.