Peak Printer and Newspaper as a Historical Accident

Photizo Group estimates show ‘Peak Printer’ was hit in 2010.

Market research firm Photizo Group provided a recent CompuWorld article on the current state of consumer printers with the graph on the right which shows that 2010 is expected to be ‘Peak Printer’ with just over 16 million global units sold. Interestingly, this article was referenced by a MakeZine article which was trying to figure out what the future really holds for 3D printers.  Conventional desktop paper printers are a logical benchmark.

Matthew Ingram’s great article for GigaOm hits on another topic – reporting from a Brainstorm tech conference discussion of a Harvard project which spoke with senior newspaper executives asking for their hindsight views on the collapse of the newspaper industry. The industry executives debated the collapse of the newspaper industry and if the original rise of the industry had simply been a historical accident.  As Ingram writes,

all of the media executives who were interviewed came to a similar conclusion, and many mentioned Harvard business guru Clay Christensen’s “innovator’s dilemma,”

Ingram’s article spends a good deal of time acknowledging that it was the death of ad income, not brute-force industry disruption, that caused the industry collapse.  Like a food web with no base nutrition, the system collapsed without the essential nutrients.  Ingram also specifically references how the early offers of free-to-read internet publications was not the source of the industry’s problems.

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