Dead before arrival

The European Super League in football is all but dead.

Late last night all six founding English teams decided to abandon the ‘league’ before it got off the ground, and this morning one of the villains of the tale, Fenway Sports Group, issued this apology to everybody involved at the club.

You can look at it in many different ways, but I think the apology holds an important lesson for all:

This is what you risk happening when you try to get a solution to market without having any real understanding of the customer demand.

While it is clear that the 12 clubs originally involved in the plans have a massive worldwide fan base, the die hard supporters – the core of every CLUB – have shown nothing but disgust for the plans. And the ‘plastic fans’ are not enough to make the plan viable in any way.

Let’s look at this as a classic example of a large scale experiment gone horribly wrong.


Infinity beats speed

Is there ever such a thing as too much of a good thing? I came to think about it after following a discussion on Twitter about how news media may have been a contributor to their own digital demise by doing too much – or rather: publishing too much – rather than too little.

The argument against publishing, publishing and publishing more is that by betting on speed and volume, quality goes down. The finished product becomes thinner, offers less value to readers, which again drives down engagement, advertising revenue and – crucially – the likeliness of subscribing for a fee.

On the other hand, media execs may argue that there are great examples of great businesses being successful based on an abundance of content. Netflix is perhaps the best example, where precisely the vastness of the catalogue is a big reason to describe.

Here it is just worth noting that while shows on Netflix predominantly age well and stay relevant, the same cannot be said about news media. So when we compare the two, we’re comparing the value of infinity with the value of sheer speed. And here infinity always wins.