This is the blog of Ant Miller, senior research manager and dilettante geek at large at the BBC.
I wail moan and cuss about the challenges and fun to be found here.
These are my personal opinions, and not those of my employer. Or anyone else here for that matter.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The broken crest of a wave

Had a visit a few weeks back to the EMI archive at Hayes, near heathrow airport. It's a fascinating place- not only do they hold the paperwork and the masters for almost a century of music recordings, but they've also a small museum. A museum of what? Well they have early TV cameras, Radars, magnetic resonance imaging kit, and of course many beautiful old gramophone. As we explored the place I noticed a picture on the wall of the site some seventy years ago or longer. Where we stood has once been a station, two schools, vast offices designing and managing the worldwide distribution of state of the art music replay devices, lumberyard supplying the raw materials, pressing plants. As the years rolled on the expertise in that place spawned countless innovations- and during the second world war the engineering expertise on this site was a huge part of the technological war effort; testament to this is a map on the wall that was found in a downed Luftwaffe bomber. The EMI plant is very clearly marked!

Today though, for all the fascinating museum exhibits, the archive has a melancholy air. The company that spawned so many revolutionary technologies, and had the nouce to exploit them all, now just makes music. In fact all it does is invest in recording music, and then licenses it's IP and markets it. The EMI that was a fully vertically integrated entertainment system, with diversification and innovation at every layer is now a far smaller and more specialized operation.

Look around and you'll see the other bits of what was EMI- Vodafone, Marconi and many others were once spawned under that umbrella. Perhaps some of them can still innovate and succeed. I think, perhaps not- they are tied into their core market, know their specialization, and do that pretty well. In the great capitalist scheme of things this evolution has probably brought a very great deal of profit for a very great deal of shareholders. But is it better as a company?

It's struck me since my visit that here are parallels today with the story of EMI (a story I have only the most cursory familiarity with). Entities like Sony are today stretching through the whole delivery stack, from content to the ear via products and services. They're not the only ones.

Are IBM and the BBC now slipping down the back side of this wave: shedding creativity and innovation? From inside the beeb it does feel a bit like it. I understand the pressures that lead to the drive to shed areas that technology has left behind- would it have made any sense for EMI to have kept the cabinet making part of the business into the early 21st century? Probably not, and similarly the loss of some area's of the BBC make sound sense.

But think what goes with that- IBM no longer have indigenous laptop designers and builders who can innovate with them- the BBC no longer has the indigenous IT expertise to innovate and run it's own digital asset management system.

Some people are still integrating, still growing, so I think the cycle still holds. I'd like to see it begin to loop back around here- just not sure how.

16 comments:

Nic Price said...

And to add to what you say here, Euan's just posted this from Ross Mayfield about the end of process, including the line

"Organizations are trapped in a spiral of declining innovation led by the false promise of efficiency."

davenelson9672 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

lucymartinez2348 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

http://pennystockinvestment.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hello I must say this is a very nice blog you have here and the comments are very interesting as well. Being an internet afficionado I am constantly seeking out new sources of information like this one. While I am currently doing some research, I would also like to intimate the readers of this blog about the ongoing drive to sell out the internet to the big communications companies. I am part of a pressure group that would appreciate it if readers would help spread the word about this so we can maintain the intergrity of the internet as a free resource for the world. Thanks for helping to spread the word and being a resource for my work. Cheers and keep up the good work.
it asset management

Anonymous said...

I'm Kortny,
from Uzbekistan,
and I'm 21 y.o

Hi, All
I've studied English sinse this Winter .
It's Really difficult
I would like like to meet peple and practisice My English with them.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

Safe, Low Priced MEN'S HEALTH Online!

Very Cheap Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Lipitor, Propecia!

Buy Cheap Viagra Online


Free Prescription with your Order
The Lowest Prices Online
Complete PRIVACY
FedEx Overnight Shipping



Buy Viagra Online
Buy Levitra Online
Buy Online Propecia
Buy Lipitor Online
Buy Online Viagra
Buy Cialis Online



______

cheapest place buy viagra online
book buy online order viagra
buy online order viagra
blogspot.com buy inurl online viagra
buy cheap online prescription viagra
buy viagra online get prescription
buy cheap online prescription viagra

Anonymous said...

The deal will increase Bradford & Bingley's managed assets, which stood at �35.8bn on June 30, by up to 3.9%.
"The assets will be acquired by Mortgage Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bradford & Bingley, and will be funded from the group's existing resources," the bank said in a statement.
--------------




Anonymous said...

Men's Health Online Cheap tablets!

Very Cheap Viagra, Lipitor, Levitra, Cialis, Propecia!

Buy Cheap Viagra Online


Free Prescription with your Order
The Lowest Prices Online
Complete PRIVACY
FedEx Overnight Shipping



Buy Viagra Online
Buy Online Propecia
Buy Lipitor Online
Buy Online Viagra
Buy Levitra Online
Buy Cialis Online



______

australia buy levitra online ship
Buy Cialis Online Viagra
buy online prescription viagra without
2004 Buy Cialis Daily Online Statistics
buy online order viagra
buy lvivhostcom online viagra viagra
Buy Cialis Cialis Generic Online

Anonymous said...

I think..
***
Kak ste?










Finances Online
Contemporary Abstract Painting
Co Insurance Life Term
Bedford Driving Drunk Lawyer
Lv Bag
Bench Storage Teak
Weber Baby Grand Piano
Dodge Ram 1500
Free Basement Remodeling Idea
Air Compressor Conditioning
Computer Notebook Sale
Wrongful Death Lawyer Raleigh
--------------
Sayonara

Anonymous said...

DISCOUNT CHEAP PHENTERMINE ONLINE!

Buy Cheap Phentermine Online
Cheap Phentermine Diet Pill Online
Cheap Phentermine No Prescription

Anonymous said...

Dobry den

I'm glad!

Moagha du ghullaqash?

Marketing Director

American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry
Car Dealer Washington Dc
Callaway Great Big Bertha
Account Merchant Set Up
Money
Affiliate Proggram Sales
Sub Contractor Agreement
United Health Care Insurance
Vail Arizona Real Estate
Scholarship
Add Analyze Link
Used Car Dealer California
Alabama Association Banker Mortgage
Bait Chatter Rad
Century 21 Real Estate Agent

Catch-you-later

Anonymous said...

"With headline mortgage rates at 30-year lows and a range of competitive deals available to lower the up-front costs for home owners, the housing market is likely to show a healthy and sustainable rate of growth for the foreseeable future," said Michael Coogan, Director-General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Remortgages have accounted for an increasing proportion of lending, with borrowers taking advantage of lower rates to refinance their mortgages. In June it made up 31% of total mortgage business, compared to 25% one year ago.
--------------






Car Cheap In Insurance Texas
Engine Internet Search
Aerial View Of Florida
Abalone Diving Northern California
Berlin Nj Hotel
Money
Attorney Bankruptcy Oregon
Bad Credit Loan Mortgage Now
Car Cheap Insurance Quote
Acetylene Aluminum Cleaning
Bedding Comforter
Back Pain Management
Affiliatye Program Sales
Memphis In May 2005
Florist Bessemer
Acne Best Product Treatment

Anonymous said...

Kheyerle irte

We are happy girls!

?Como esta usted?

Air Mattress Adjustable Bed
Bad Credit Loan Mortgage Online
Contractor Bidding
Air Chamber Bed
House Painting Wallpaper
Civil Committee Lawyer Right
Cause Of Low Back Pain
Aeronautical Science
Real Estate Agency
Air Conditioner Filter
Back Chronic Low Pain
Abdominal Exercise Machine

Viso gero

Anonymous said...

Alcohol Cravings With Lexapro

Going Off Lexapro Side Effects

Lexapro 20mg Side Effects

Lexapro And Dreams

10 Mg Lexapro Does It Work

Children Lexapro Side Effects

Is Lexapro A Mao Inhibitor

Anonymous said...

Salam

I'm sorry

Kako ste?

Landscaping Backyard Pic
Construction Equipment Heavy Rental
Cheap Classic Car Insurance
Accident Attorney Island Motorcycle Staten
Becoming A Real Estate Agent In California
Back Chest Pain
Jeremy Beadle
Infected Belly Button
Nj Bankruptcy Law
Baby Monitor
Japan Used Car Dealer
Dallas Failure To Diagnose Lawyer

Pirmelenge

Anonymous said...

Hey, while searching for widgets for my blog, I stumbled upon www.widgetmate.com and wow! I found what I wanted. A cool news widget. My blog is now showing latest news with title, description and images. Took just few minutes to add. Awesome!