Consmergence: The consolidation and synergy of media may work, but in our lifetime? I suspect it’s a timing thing, but that’s of little consolation when you bet and lose big, like Primedia did.


An advertising recession, a bear stock market, home-turf terrorist attacks, and a Middle East war were not in anyone’s cards when Mr. Rogers left NBC to join Primedia in the fall of 1999.

Maybe so, but there were some very profitable golden eggs in the Primedia nest that were cracked when some proven people assets were shown the door. Don’t weep for Mr. Rogers whose parachute, I’m sure, is quite golden itself.

As for the timing of “convergence,” I will refer all readers back to Paul Saffo’s concept of macro-myopia.

Following is a brief description (by Paul) of the concept that can be applied to the cycle of hype following all emerging hot new, new technologies and other “things” like “convergence”:

…Collectively as a society and as individuals we all suffer from what I call macro-myopia. A pattern where our hopes and our expectations or our fears about the threatened impact of some new technology causes us to overestimate its short term impacts and reality always fails to meet those inflated expectations. And as a result our disappointment then leads us to turn around and underestimate the long term implications and I can guarantee you this time will be no different. The short term impact of this stuff will be less than the hype would suggest but the long term implications will be vastly larger than we can possibly imagine today.”

I heard Paul describe this in July, 1994 (or was it ’95?). As much as I believed him then (and now), I wish I had applied that belief more often.