Saturday, February 28, 2009


As most of you know by now, the Rocky Mountain News ceased publication yesterday, two months after the paper's parent company announced it needed a buyer in 30 days to stay in business.

This story is interesting to me on two levels. First, back in the day (1992), I was a journalism major in college and spent two years working for a newspaper in Sacramento, California.

But second, and perhaps the more important lesson, is why the Rocky died.

Because of new technology, over the past few years I have cancelled my newspaper delivery, discontinued traditional "home phone" service and publish much of my own material electronically.

And while I thought the Rocky's website was decent, the reality is that the newspaper could not adapt fast enough to the changes in technology and to the changes in the economy.

Prepare for change.

That's about the best advice I can give to anyone. If you're a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, recognize that YOU are the product. You may be selling something, but the reality is that most people will make a decision on the SELLER before they decide on the service or commodity.

Rather than link to a story about the Rocky's demise, I thought it would be better to post this 45-slide photo gallery of Rocky employees as they gathered to hear the news on Thursday. Not pretty.

Remember that no matter who you work for or what you do, YOU are the product. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to devote some time and focus each day to looking for ways to become faster, smarter, healthier, better educated, more accountable and increasingly efficient.

Becoming a better product in the marketplace is the wisest thing you can do right now. Let the demise of the Rocky be a warning to us all...