It sounds silly, but great businesses, even whole countries, have staggered to their extinction by valuing esteem and reputation in defiance of reality. And until a giant of the newspaper pantheon – the Times in either London or New York, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Le Monde – makes the leap from newsprint to pixels exclusively, smaller papers that do the same will be percieved as doing so out of desperation. Which is a long way of saying that, on the so-called death of the newspaper, Andreesen might be right, but it doesn’t mean he knows what he’s talking about.
(Two more things. Take a look at the three appearances Andreesen has done on Charlie Rose – in the first, he’s a chubby college kid, in the second, he’s a lean, serious business professional clearly benefitting from the “all nighters and imminent IPO” diet. Today he looks like he’s auditioning to play Uncle Fester. It’s a hell of a transition.
Second – here’s a list of the 100 biggest newspapers in the world. You might be as surprised as I am to find that no English title shows up in the top 10, and that the biggest English daily, at number 11, is a UK tabloid – The Sun. The Times of India at #24 is bigger than either the New York Times [#37] or the Times of London [not on the list.] Something to keep in mind.)