Published on: July 26, 2018
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Hi. This is FaceTime with the Content Guy. I’m Kevin Coupe.
As I record this, I am in Portland, Oregon, standing on the Hawthorne Bridge overlooking Tom McCall Park, site of the annual Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. I love this event, and have attended it every year since I’ve been coming here to teach a summer class at Portland State university (PSU). The city clearly loves it as well - the festival celebrated its 31st year in 2018, and you can see and hear the crowds behind me.
This year, though, there was something different. I thought the lineup was a little weaker than in past years, but there also was something else different - for the first time in a long time, the Oregon Food Bank was not a sponsor and a recipient of the profits. And at least in part because the food bank was not involved, Safeway also was not a sponsor.
Now, there was another food-related charity that stepped in, but that’s actually not the point I want to make.
As it has been explained to me, when the Oregon Food Bank started working with the festival, it was able to bring home hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be used in their mission. Part of the reason for that was the willingness of some great artists to work for less than their usual fees because they generated a lot of CD sales during the festival. But as time passed, as we all know, CD sales have plummeted, which meant that artists had to raise their fees. Which meant that the Oregon Food Bank made less money, and even started to go into the red … which is something a charity cannot do.
This is yet another example of how changing technology and changing realities can have an unexpected impact, even, in this case, having an effect on feeding the hungry.
It is collateral damage, to be sure. The changes themselves are neither good nor bad, but certainly the results are not a good thing.
It is the kind of change that every business has to think about … focusing not just on the technology, but also the impact, which sometimes can hit you in unexpected ways and unexpected places.
That’s what is on my mind, and as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: