Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why is Playboy giving up nudity?

This isn't a story about nudity; it's a story about disruption and innovation. Times, tastes and technology have changed everything. Even at 89, Hugh Hefner understands a simple fact: In today's rapidly evolving world you innovate or you become irrelevant. It's the biggest challenge facing businesses around the world...

It may seem ironic to think that the very nudity that Playboy pioneered has been "overtaken" by the Internet where you are "one click away from every sex act imaginable for free."

However, that's always how it happens. The thing that made you famous won't keep you relevant in a progressive world.

Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975, but it was so focused on its film and printing domination, it missed every opportunity in digital. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Blockbuster created a desire to rent and stay in to enjoy movies from the comfort of our homes, and passed on the opportunity to buy Netflix, not once, but three times. It went bankrupt in 2013.

Every single disruptive business that's emerged in the last five years -- Uber, Airbnb, Twitch.tv --exploits a major business weakness -- the failure of the old guard to innovate in response to changing consumer and customer behavior. These disruptors aren't killing businesses; it's the stodgy, rigid and stubborn companies that are killing themselves.

Once you understand the disruption that's taken place in the media and publishing world and the power of social networks as a publishing platform, you'll understand that Playboy simply had no choice. Nudity was sinking its Web and magazine business.

More from CNN.

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