Catching the Big Fish
David Lynch’s Catching the Big Fish
I have just started reading David Lynch's Catching the Big Fish whose introduction opens with the lines: "Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper".
Now, imagine the content business as one vast ocean where everyone stays in the shallow waters, never taking a chance in the deep. Even the big sharks are afraid to go too deep and feed on the small packs of clownfish swimming around. This is the state of television right now – relatively little fish preying on each other, food getting scarcer and life expectancy shorter. The tide will soon go low and the deep and unknown waters will have no alternative.
What are the Deep Waters? Internet, Mobile, AR/VR, Esports, VOD – you name it? It’s a vast ocean of unknown and largely unexplored entertainment opportunities involving high risks on investment and major chances of failure. Nobody wants to plunge head-on, full-on into “The Deep.” Uncertainty is too big, and the state of fear prevails as the tide keeps getting lower and TV players totally run dry on ideas.
On the other hand, those who created “The Deep”– the so-called FAANGs, feel a bit like fish in foreign waters now. They own this ocean, but they don’t know how to tame (entertain/monetize) the billions of fishes. They are afraid as well: of losing their vast domain of control – check Facebook’s dropping users.
So both TV and FAANGs find themselves in a similar situation – unable to control the deep waters and needing each other in order to direct the streams of fish to the right destination. This is pretty much what we have been witnessing for the past couple of years with no sight yet of The Next Big Fish. So the chaotic fishing with tons of content being thrown in the ocean continues.