As editor-in-chief of PC World magazine, Harry McCracken was wildly successful. Under Harry’s watch,PC World created a formidable presence in both print and online editions. However, Harry McCracken did not let success blind him from seeing a greater opportunity. Harry left behind a team of professionals (more than 50 editors, writers, designers, product testers and web developers) to launch what is still a one man operation: A Web site, Technologizer.com, offering “a smarter take on tech”. Technologizer.com is a technology news site and blog that, according to site statistics, reaches over 300,000 unique visitors a month. Technologizer.com has also attracted more than a few world-class advertisers, as well.
Harry is a shining example of what one person can do by taking advantage of the unique opportunities the Web presents. The Internet enables the smallest of media companies to compete on an equal footing with even the largest media company in the world. In fact, thinking small can be a big advantage over the entrenched mindset of the mega-corporate structure. Being small enables you to be nimble and agile, traits that are essential to compete in today’s relationship economy. Individuals can take inspiration and encouragement from Harry McCracken’s example. Businesses can learn a lesson from Harry, too.
Companies that sit idly by, thinking that they can’t afford to invest in a strategy that includes an intense online presence are missing the point. Success online doesn’t require massive resources; success online only requires understanding how to leverage the resources available.
But before building a new identity online most companies must be willing to tear down the old corporate structures and policies that prevent quick action due to their inflexibility. Generating conversational currency is not a fad, it’s not simply about taxing an already overworked staff with an online focus; generating conversational currency is a whole other ball game – a new economic paradigm.
Fortunately for Harry McCracken, he wasn’t lulled by the comfort of his previous success, nor blinded to the possibilities of thinking small in order to grow big. Perhaps we can benefit from Harry’s story. As Ben Franklin said, “Experience is the best teacher if a fool can learn no other way.”