John Rodgers brings up an interesting idea while talking about whether iTunes' impact on the music industry suggests a good model for the TV industry.
Our favorite new-warfare guy Jon Robb writes about the “plausible premise” in new open-source insurgencies. I'm not going to get into his new warfare theory, but basically what you really need is a plausible premise. i.e. “You can kill US soldiers with IEDs.” and then the new Interconnected Marketplace Of Shitty Evil Ideas will solve the problem for anyone looking to kill US soldiers with IEDs.
Or, more succinctly, in order to get the marketplace off its ass to solve the impossible, you have to just pull off the highly improbable and make sure everybody knows about it. Show it can be done, show how you did it, and watch the “marketplace” attack because you've made the “premise” “plausible”.
Rodgers concludes that so far the TV biz hasn't learned the right lesson from iTunes, but that there is a lesson to be found.
But more importantly to my mind is the idea of the “plausible premise”. It seems to me that there are a lot of situations in which the arrival of a plausible premise is really powerful.
Oh, and while we're here, let me second the hat tip to Jon Robb, who does a lot to explain what is going on with terrorism, failed states, and the inability of the US military to do much about either. You'll notice his blog Global Guerrilas has been in my blogroll for quite some time. Fascinating, disturbing, very important stuff.