Watching nonprogrammers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn’t know how to surf trying to surf. Even if he has great advisers standing on the shore telling him what to do, he still falls off the board again and again. The cult of the M.B.A. likes to believe that you can run organizations that do things that you don’t understand. But often, you can’t.
Readers, I need a hand. Can you answer two questions for a newbie?
- I don’t know who runs newspapers. Are publishers usually former journalists? Or are they more frequently experts in publishing topics like ads, printing and distribution?
- Who should run news web sites?
I’m constantly amazed at how bad news web sites are.
For example: Search the Chicago Tribune for my dean’s name, “Lavine.” It returns no results. There were at least a half dozen articles about Dean Lavine printed in the last six months, I promise. What gives?
My suspicion is that the folks running the news sites just don’t understand the web. If the web is the future of news, should technologists be the publishers? I’m thinking no, instead it should probably be tech-saavy journalists.
The only strong feeling I have is that it should *not* be ink and paper newspaper publishers.