“They don’t pay for us to go to trade shows anymore,” lamented a journalist at a recent industry PR event. The era of international trips and freebies is over for most technology journalists and its passing is mourned by many of them.
Media junkets, industry conferences in exotic locations and management retreats to exclusive resorts are what businesses with fat profits can afford. Most of the tech industry is past that point as most of the sector becomes commoditised.
Slowly, vendors come to understand what a commoditised market means as Acer have with their announcement they will stop selling cheap systems while others, like Apple, have managed to avoid that trap entirely.
As technology changes, cheaper manufacturing locations appear and consumer preferences change many businesses will find their markets change. Some will identify those changes early and change course while others will wonder what has happened to their fat margins and why they can’t afford management, client or media trips to the Pacific or the South of France anymore.
That’s good for consumers, but a terrible thing for those managers who are little better than corporate bureaucrats and their friends in the media.
Interestingly, it’s the jobsworths and the overfed incumbents who are the slowest to recognise when their businesses are changing which is why there’s so much opportunity for smaller, smarter enterprises.