Let’s Hope The Digital Natives Fair A Bit Better

by | Mar 6, 2010

Serial entrepreneur, MarkAndreessen, thinks print media companies need to take a page from the Spanish Empire’s playbook and make real their commitment to digital.

Here’s Tech Crunch’s take on Andreessen’s POV:

Legend has it that when Cortes landed in Mexico in the 1500s, he ordered his men to burn the ships that had brought them there to remove the possibility of doing anything other than going forward into the unknown. Marc Andreessen has the same advice for old media companies: “Burn the boats.”

In particular, he was talking about print media such as newspapers and magazines, and his longstanding recommendation that they should shut down their print editions and embrace the Web wholeheartedly. “You gotta burn the boats,” he told me, “you gotta commit.” His point is that if traditional media companies don’t burn their own boats, somebody else will.

I like the imagery Andreessen’s using, but instead of burning the boats, it might be smart to keep all oars in the water, as it were. It’s not like there won’t be printed newspapers and magazines in the future. There will be. They might become rather expensive–as they are expensive to produce and distribute–but they’ll be available.

On a related note, here’s Grace Potter and Joe Satriani covering “Cortez the Killer” by Neil Young.