Guardian Strategy, III — Culture and the “ecology of news provision”

David Pemsel, deputy chief executive of Guardian News & Media, recently gave a short speech about the organisation’s strategy.

[You can watch the speech below (or read highlights here):]

As Pemsel says, what they are doing goes against all conventional wisdom. But readership and revenues are growing, and previous posts (on readers and advertisers) have shown how this makes complete sense when considered through the lens of The Escher Cycle.

This third and final post looks at the big picture: what David calls “the ecology of news provision”.

It examines The Guardian’s role within that space, by applying the thinking of chapter 7 of The Escher Cycle. Continue Reading >

Feadship, luxury yacht builders

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 09.11.54Once you’ve read The Escher Cycle, examples of where it is applicable start popping up in the most unexpected places.

For example, in this month’s SuperYachtWorld (the global magazine for superyacht owners) there is an article about boatbuilders Feadship.

In 1978 they built the yacht Al Riyadh for the Saudi royal family. At 65m it remained for decades the world’s largest motoryacht. And when Steve Jobs wanted a superyacht, he selected Feadship to build it for him.

Does The Escher Cycle help to account for their success?

Continue Reading >

Guardian strategy, II — Advertisers

David Pemsel, Deputy chief executive of Guardian News & Media, recently gave a short speech about the organisation’s strategy.
You can listen to that speech here (highlights below):

As he says, what they are doing seems at first glance to be crazy. Giving content away for free goes against all traditional wisdom about what it takes to run a successful newspaper.

But the facts are that The Guardian has gone from being the seventh largest newspaper to the third biggest news website in the world. They now have online conversations with over a million people a monthrevenues are growing, and they are developing strong new relationships with advertisers.

Seen through the eyes of received industry thinking their strategy doesn’t make sense.

But seen through the lens of The Escher Cycle it is very easy to understand what they are doing and why.

Our previous post looked at how giving content away for free is part of their strategy to ‘grow, deepen and retain’ relationships with readers/members. This is about applying The Escher Cycle’s ‘Customer Chain’ thinking (chapter 2).

This post looks at the changing relationships with advertisers, using the ‘Audio cycle’ thinking of Chapter 6 and the ‘fractal economy’ thinking of Chapter 7.

A third post looks at the implications for the company’s future deep strategy and the evolution of human culture. Continue Reading >