Since San Francisco’s dot.com bubble in the mid 90s, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have voyaged into vast technological unknowns, experiencing significant restructuring of traditional business models – some weathering undulating boom and bust as others failed completely.
While journalists reported on their behavior, quixotically mesmerizing ideas and sometimes questionable ethics, many were not aware the innovation bug was close to biting media as newspapers took a series of heavy hits beginning in the early 2000s that left their business models hanging on by a thread.
We are in an age where concepts like “agile software development” and “design thinking” have gone from buzzwords to vernacular in newsrooms. From publicly traded behemoths to non-profits – innovation is key to remaining competitive. The same entrepreneurship principals startup founders have applied to their ideations for decades are now being applied in newsrooms.
The product development process is key to the sustenance of media companies. Knowing how to identify, cultivate and engage an audience is a laborious feat wrought with many hours of user testing, user research, design iterations and pouring over engagement metrics.
Now the growth and adoption of virtual and augmented reality has produced a new medium for journalists to tinker with. From prototype to product stage with remarkable speed, virtual reality is redefining the concepts of presence and empathy in ways once considered science fiction.
Guys and gals – if it feels like we’re living in a Ray Bradbury novel, it’s because we essentially are.