Tina Brown on Feckless Zombies

At “The Daily Beast”, Tina Brown raises what may be at the heart of a lot of America’s troubles — a business run by “feckless zombies” who can’t tell a good idea from a bad one, where innovation loses out to short-term gains.

The public rage towards the Big Three reflects in part the rage many employees feel today about the way their own companies have been so messed up already they were in no shape to survive a market collapse. Only now are we hearing how the innovative engineers who wanted to get into hybrids and electric cars were cut off when the accountants decreed that there was more and quicker profit in churning out gas guzzlers.

What do cars, debt risk, and collapsing television networks have in common? The suits running them all lose sight of what they condescendingly call “product”–i.e., whatever it was that motivated the company’s spirit of excellence in the first place. The trouble is, those guys and their appointees don’t seem to be the ones who are leaving, do they? Indeed, the recession is giving many of them air cover. “It’s not my fault, it’s the times we live in.”

I am hoping — and I know that it’s a long shot — that the economic collapse will give birth to new kinds of companies — ones truly committed to making excellent products again. Let’s run the zombies out of town.

link: Kill The Media Zombies by Tina Brown

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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