Friday, May 31, 2013

The High School Yearbook industry is being challenged. I say "AMEN TO THAT". Bet you do too. See here why...

 Creative Destruction is a term credited to economist Joseph Schumpter that describes the process by which market activity evolves to change or challenge existing market structures. In other words, new ideas, technology, innovation or processes emerge to replace current ways of providing goods and/or services (that is my simplistic explanation---go to the link above for much more detail).

One area ripe for this to take place is the stodgy business of High School Yearbooks.  For A LONG TIME the business has run on the same inefficient model.  Here is an article highlighting a young entrepreneur who saw an opportunity to challenge this traditional model:

Most Likely to Succeed  The school yearbook business is a scandal. Here’s how to fix it 

When Aaron Greco, a young tech entrepreneur, started sniffing around the yearbook business a few years ago, he was surprised by these shenanigans. The fundamental problem with the yearbook business, he realized, was that big yearbook providers were producing their books using offset printing—an expensive printing system that’s great for books with large print runs but that leads to high costs and little flexibility for yearbooks, whose print runs number in the hundreds or low thousands. Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of digital on-demand printing, which is now commonly used for photo books (the sort you order from Shutterfly or Blurb) and self-publishing. Greco had a brilliant idea: Why not use the same printing process for yearbooks?
This is a good example of the power of a free people operating in an open marketplace coming up with a better way of doing something and with hard work and perseverance challenge an existing market structure.

I highlighted "open" because if existing yearbook providers don't want to (or can't) compete then they may try to limit challengers by using the political process to put up barriers. That is called Crony-Capitalism. 

I hope this does not happen in this case, but it would not surprise me. 

We need more Creative Destruction, not less.  It makes the world a better place.

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