Followers of NotQuiteProfitable.com will realize that as a company we are constantly seeking new revenue streams. When we are unable to find a revenue stream we will settle for a trickle. In recent months we have been in the corporate equivalent of a drought and have been searching for a cash-filled oasis. After hours of analysis and several fruitful discussions over lunch, we have decided to create a news division as a wholly owned subsidiary of NotQuiteProfitable.com. Naturally the site is NotQuiteNews.com.
We will not share all of the rationale behind this decision as we are saving the interesting bits for what will surely become a fascinating case study in the Harvard Business Review. We can assure you that we did not make a blind leap into the void. There was one overriding reason that we decided to create a news division when there are already thousands of existing news outlets in print, on the air and on the web.
Barriers to entry in the news business are practically nonexistent.
Starting a news outlet from scratch requires:
- very little money,
- little, if any, original content,
- no expertise, and
- no expensive legal team.
Most businesses require some significant upfront investment. From what we can tell, entering the news business in the current environment only requires a web site and we have one of those.
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that one needs content to become a trusted source for news. That was before sites like the Huffington Post were created as “news aggregators”. When we learned of this trick we could not believe the underlying genius of it. What was once considered being lazy at best and committing plagiarism at worst is now a legitimate business model. A web site that creatively applies cut and paste sold for $315 Million. When we learned that we knew it was a business that we had to enter.
Other industries require that a company hire or have a workforce with a minimal level of expertise in the new endeavor. One simply needs to look at the current leaders in the news business to see that talent is not a requirement. Even news analysis that was once prefaced with “intelligent” no longer requires any level of intelligence. Look at the aforementioned Huffington Post or Fox News if you doubt this. Certainly if we decided to move immediately into televised news programs we would need to hire several attractive blondes but our initial steps will be limited to an online news outlet.
Finally, we have found that it is almost impossible to lose a lawsuit as a news organization. All you need to do is make sure that you make “alleged” into your favorite adjective. Once you do that, you can write almost anything and you are safe from litigation. If at any point we feel we are on dangerous ground, we will simply attribute the allegations to “sources” and bingo. We have another layer of protection. On top of that, we are being pretty up front with the fact that our content is not really news. It might look like news but it is not quite news.
One does not need a staff of super intelligent MBAs to tell that this is a great venture. That is fortunate because we do not have a staff of MBAs, super intelligent or otherwise. We do know a sweet deal when we see one. As a result, NotQuiteNews.com is now on line and looking for news. If anyone asks, we are also looking for someone with $315 Million who wants to pick up a great deal before inflation hits.