I have always felt that death comes from a direction we are not looking, by a mechanism we don't contemplate and at a time that is really inconvenient. To me this seems to be true of all forms of life including companies. We always look for the obvious threats and risks, only to be taken by surprise later!
In the case of the recording and movie industries, the primary and obvious threat comes from the media pirates and downloaders. In the far east it is CD and DVD copying on an industrial scale, whilst in the west it is a pandemic of internet downloading. So where is all the industry focus? In the west! But where is the most economic long-term damage taking place? In the east!
The industry might be right but I think not. A large-scale model change is underway with musicians gradually deserting the old routes to market for a more direct internet presence.
And this may ultimately be the same for the film industry with homemade productions gradually catching up with the real thing. Might it be that bands of amateur moviemakers usurp Hollywood in the future? Every week I find a new clutch of movies in various genres - and some are not half bad.
If this is to be the future case, who might be next? How about book publishers, radio and TV broadcasters and newspapers? All the technology and talent are in place to invoke some very serious changes in all these industries.
Hmm, I think I see another Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse coming right out of the sun.
Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.