Thursday, March 10, 2005

Are Publishers the right Man for the Job?

In talking about business models here is one worth discussing.

If you were going to go sailing in treacherous waters, who would you want captain your ship? Perhaps the travel agent that sold you that trip? I don’t think so.

Where is it written in stone that a best practice for a business is to put at the helm of the ship a person with little knowledge of that business? It has been a mystery to me the continued predilection of the publishing community to take very successful salespeople and anoint them with the title of publisher.

A publisher is in charge of the whole enchilada. They should be fluent in the disciplines of circulation, accounting principles, manufacturing and production. I have lots of friends who are publishers and most have agreed privately that although it’s good for their ego, and the fact those advertisers like to see upper management, the publisher. But that it takes a long long time to learn the other disciplines of the business environment. What do you think?