I take Fred’s point — big companies are slow and small companies are fast(er) — but a) in the abstract it’s not news, and b) in his specific, gleefully nihilistic conclusion (that small companies “obliterate” media incumbents) it isn’t supported by the facts.
Case in point: How many of the top ten media companies in the U.S. were founded in the last decade? Zero. How about in the top twenty? Two-point-five (Google and Yahoo, plus Ebay kinda). Sure, there have been changes in relative position, but despite being in the most technology-driven tempestuous period in media industry history, precious few technology-centric media companies have managed to penetrate the top twenty, nor has any notable media company fallen off the list.
It is, in short, up-with-technology utopianism to say that small technology companies are “obliterating” media markets. Small media companies are what they have always been — sources of innovation (and sometimes excellent investments) that, when successful, are usually acquired by incumbents.
Granted, it may eventually happen — YouTube may be the next NBC — but it seems at least as likely that the list ten years from now is the same as the list today. That isn’t, of course, as much fun as saying that ” big companies deliberate” and “small companies obliterate”, but it has the added advantage of being more likely.
[Update] I have edited this piece to bring the data up to present. The original media data I used was from 2003. Mea culpa.