The Content Trap. A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change

By Bharat Anand
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The Content Trap. A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change

“Create some great content, and they will come” is by far one of the most dangerously wrong ideas in the media industry—and it has been spreading like a virus for decades now. But history taught us that the great value of newspapers lied more in their inherent strength in defining and connecting groups of people, ideas and conversations, rather than merely conveying information about the world to single readers.

The Content Trap, written by business consultant Bharat Anand in 2016, argues instead that industry leaders - from Apple to Schibsted to Amazon - were all able to dominate their markets thanks to the value of the networks and the connections they built, rather than on their stand-alone products and services.

Why you should read it

Books like “The Content Trap“ challenge the way we think about why some products are more successful than others, while giving us a useful mental framework that applies to most businesses and industries.

Three key takeaways

  • On the importance of connections between user: “The language for success in media, as in technology, is less and less about content and more and more about connections”.
  • On content producers: “The future of content producers will depend not only on what they make, but on how effectively they manage value-creating opportunities in adjacent areas.”
  • On business strategy: “Business strategy is about two questions: where should you play, and how will you win”.

My favourite quote

“Navigating digital change is all about having a certain mindset. It's a mindset that I came to see in people who have managed or led digital change successfully. They are humble in recognising what they can't control, yet primed to take advantage in what they can.”