Follow by Email

Google+ Followers

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Death of Print and Mea Culpa

I heard today that RCR (I have never known what that stood for!) closed it's doors. I knew many of the people there because over my years of working in the wireless industry, I have met and briefed most of them many times. And now, like newspaper dailies, they have fallen victim to the recession and the Internet.

The recession I have no responsibility for. I did not buy a house I couldn't afford, wallow in credit card debt, or package unsustainable loans for others. Fortunately my employer has a lot of cash in the bank, and has so far avoided layoffs (touch wood). So while my 401-k has suffered, it has not directly affected me (yet).

The Internet however has been a two edged sword. Before going into the wireless arena, I worked on the early days of the Internet, mostly involved with products to bring the Internet in enterprise networks. I turned down a job offer from my current employer in 1988 when they had about 100 employees - now tens of thousands.

After working on wireless cellular networks starting in 1995, I have always worked on the evolution of wireless data services, starting with 14.4 kbps on GPRS and CDMA, culminating in my last several roles with 100% focus on it with WiMAX and 4G. I have met with RCR many times to discuss the ramifications of instant access to all the world's information from wherever you happen to be, which is now reaching it's fulfillment with 3G, WiMAX and the iphone.

One result has been the death of print media, even that following the industry itself. Talk about ironic! I used to be sorry about my career's fallout when i was on vacation and was interrupted by email, voice mail or a call, but now I'm sorry because some of work friends are suffering more immediately.

Mea Cupla.