The more biographies I read about successful entrepreneurs the more I realize that very few read the news.
Very few watch the news.
And now more and more are not paying attention to news on their phones.
A lot of what I’ve read has been from entrepreneurs from generations ago. Back then the main source was newspapers. Very few actually read them. They instead focused on reading books. And many did choose to read, but they wanted to read the classics.
A lot of what happens today won’t matter tomorrow. Maybe something will have an impact 20 years from now, but it’s too early to tell.
What Do You Remember?
Think back to last week. Do you remember what you read on your phone? Do you remember what you saw on TV?
We can barely remember the news we consumed yesterday. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s supposed to be disposable.
Think about how we consume content on our phone. We refresh all day long. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. We refresh and refresh. Our minds are wired to crave information. News fills the void. It feeds the demand.
It’s interesting reading about Ted Turner. He first saw the need for a 24-hour news cable tv station back in the mid ’70s. He thought for sure a big network would launch one, but they didn’t and in 1980 he launched CNN.
But the interesting thing was that Ted himself didn’t really consume news. He saw the need. He had to understand human behavior on some level. But he admits that he didn’t really watch news or even read news. He was more interested in reading books or watching old movies.
He did read trade magazines, but he seemed to always be thinking long-term. He wanted to try and see what would be important in five years, ten years and even 25 years down the road.
Trends are interesting. I think at first it’s easy to put news and trends together. But the more I think about it the more I think trends are something more. I had a great boss once that was interested in trends. Not news so much, but trends. Things that had a little more life than just quick news bits. Things that kept coming up in the news. Things that seemed to have potential for future use.
And that’s another common theme across successful businesspeople. They’re not thinking so much about today. They’re thinking in the future. Again, long-term. They’re thinking about the long game and how past trends can work in the future.
Back to Ted Turner… He wasn’t concerned so much with programming that might be a hit today. He was more concerned with proven programming that would be popular for many years into the future. That’s why he bought the rights to syndicate old movies and old tv shows for TBS. Let the broadcast networks get the short-term ratings while his channels got the long-term ratings.
Over the last few months I’ve been looking for ways to get the news out of my life. I haven’t watched news on TV in years. I’ve cut down on news sites and Twitter and other social media. I figure let others consume it all. Let the trends work emerge over time. Focus on the long-term and take action when necessary.