Thursday, July 12, 2007

OnRequest - Realizing the Obvious

A few weeks ago I wrote nOnRequest - This is Not Your Father's "Agency". Today, at the Microsoft Summit, I heard something remarkable, and it wasn't said once, it was said twice. David Norris, the head of OnRequest, after building a business around the CustomStock Model, whereby "up to five photographers" would produce an assignment, including expenses, and at most one would be paid (or none at all), said of the CustomStock model:

"that model was interesting, but didn't pan out."
Well, of course it didn't. The fact that he didn't realize it at the outset belies his business accumen, me thinks, especially when every photographic group and trade organization was overly public in their declaring the idea a failure. Why didn't he listen? I can't help but wonder how his investors feel about how the basis for his company was an idea that "didn't pan out."? Perhaps the next step will be that they realize that the "ONREQUEST CUSTOM LIBRARY™" concept is nominally monetizable and a short term solution for these companies, who are not paying what these libraries should be worth. Over the long term, they are underestimating what it really costs to produce these materials, and it's just not sustainable at those low figures, unless you're spending your venture capitalists' money at a burn rate that will ultimately flame out.

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Anonymous said...

Mr. Norris,

I believe the technical term is, 'No Shit Sherlock.'

Anonymous said...

Did you get to do a "one on one " with him?
I would be curious to hear what was going on in his mind and how he sees it now in detail.
Chris P
Sorry on the miss in SF
will arrange on future.

Anonymous said...

I just quoted some Shakespeare in my weblog post over the Queen, Annie Leibovitz, and the BBC broohaha. It seems like some Shakespeare would be equally appropriate here:

"Those that seek refuge at the bottom of the barrel, or on the lowest rung, let them be the first to be washed down the drains and sewers, never to be heard from again, save one last fading, gasping, "peep...".

Oh, wait... that's not Shakespeare after all. It's just little ol' me feeling no sympathy whatsoever.

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