Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, and Larry Kramer have all discussed their latest books at Drucker Business Forum events within the last month. Two themes preoccupy speakers this year: why the economy has tanked and how to turn it around, and how the internet is upending business models and forcing major changes in marketing strategy.
On the first theme: In Huffington’s new book, Third World America, she issues a wake-up call and blames Wall Street for “shorting the middle class.” She also echoes some of the accusations and recommendations in The Road From Ruin (author Matthew Bishop also spoke at the Drucker Forum earlier this year – Sunroom Desk published a four-part review of his book).
On the second theme: Seth Godin, author of Linchpin and another dozen best-sellers on business success, attracted a full crowd to the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall on November 9 to discuss his views on “the industrial revolution of our time.” Godin stressed that everyone must become a marketer, and that the internet revolution is not about leveraging capital but leveraging ideas and connections. He observed that gatekeeping as a business success strategy is a losing proposition, while making connections with clients and customers is an imperative.
Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch, discussed his new book C-Scape on November 17 at KPCC. Kramer created a successful financial news site, took it public, managed it successfully through the dotcom crash, and eventually sold it to Dow Jones. His observations tracked Godin’s: Every company now has to be a media company, content is the key to success, successful media sites need to do a great job curating the news for readers, and the convergence of these trends are forcing changes in business models that favor the consumer.