Do you want to be my cable company or my TV provider?

I pay my cable provider to supply me with TV.

Since I don’t want to watch on my cable provider’s schedule I pay for Tivo. Since my cable provider doesn’t have all the movies I want to watch, I buy DVDs. I also have a Netflix subscription. Since I travel a lot I use Hulu.

My cable provider isn’t cheap.

My cable provider thinks the value it delivers is access to its pipe. But I don’t care about the pipe, I care about being able to see what I want to see. When I want to see it. And where I want to see it – on my TV, on my phone, on my tablet, on my computer.

So does my cable provider want to be my cable provider or does it want to deliver me the TV I want where and when I want it? Companies like Netflix and Hulu don’t care where you watch; they’re about the content and where and when you watch doesn’t matter. YouTube is getting into premium content too, available wherever you are.

Cable is in a classic trap. Are you in the train business or are you in the transportation business? Are you in the newspaper business or are you in the ideas and information business? Are you in the theatre business or are you in the ideas and imagination business? It’s easy to mistake the vehicle for the product. The problem with vehicles is that they get traded in when better delivery systems come along.

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  1. says

    Excellent analogies. The other parallel answerable is “who is our customer” followed by “who are our partners” and “who do we benefit” A clear, shared answer to “what business are we in” needs to be followed by these questions. And thus, the path is clarified for strategies and tactics.
    I’m pretty sure my new organization is in the business of preserving land and freedom of expression, and, thereby, contributing to the health of the universe. But I’m testing this out over the next few months with artists and others that are passionate about the value of “the gift of time” to artists. A very useful exercise for every board of directors.

  2. says

    I am totally with you on that, watching whatever I want whenever I want. That’s why I miss a lot of TV I’d like to watch, like international news channels other than CNN, and many cultural programs from around the world. To get one channel I want, my cable company makes me pay for another 99 I don’t want. So I go without.

    I would be happy to pay a premium for just what I want, anytime I want, from one source..


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