Lipinski points out that industries sometimes have to learn these lessons repeatedly. Aggregation, for example, has been a key part of journalism for centuries; it was a key part of Time magazine’s model as early as 1923. But it still seemed to surprise incumbents in the Internet era.
Skok said news organizations often do study their history, but they don’t focus enough on what’s coming next. Looking at profit and loss statements every quarter emphasize a snapshot of the past; Clay’s work says no, don’t only trust that balance sheet — trust a theory to predict what will happen in the future. But the idea of running large companies based on theories over hard numbers is a tough sell, Skok said.