When we scheduled our recent Future of Business Media conference, we knew we were in the decade year for a number of web enterprises, including MarketWatch and TheStreet.com. (It was purely a coincidence that the date, Oct. 30, matched the actual anniversary of MarketWatch’s launch.) We wanted Larry Kramer and Jim Cramer to be involved; their answer is the video below, filmed at TheStreet.com’s (NSDQ: TSCM) studio. No Viking costumes or megaphones — just a couple of guys who disrupted the business media scene back in 1997 and are still at it in various ways taking a look back and a look ahead. The video is in three parts: The first one is embedded below the jump; the others can be reached from the video player. Some excerpts (RSS readers will have to click through to watch it online):
How did MKTW and TheStreet.com beat the big guys?: Cramer: Using the web to promote “was just a major flaw of all these organizations — I now think that Forbes magazine is to promote Forbes.com — I think that where people went wrong was always at the executive suite .. at the very top, these organizations resisted the web.”
Economics: Kramer: “The thing I learned about business news early on was to a certain number of people it was worth anything, they’d pay anything for it because it was real time and they were trading. The next person on the list would pay nothing for it but really wanted it.”
Changing landscape: Cramer: “In the winter, you would have said look at all these players; by the end of the summer, it’s like, geez, where did all the players go.”
NWS-DJ: Cramer: “I don’t people realized how cash-constrained the Journal. The Journal kept a gate, in large part, because they needed revenue everywhere, but the gate allowed Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Finance to become the gold standard, not the Journal, and that shouldn’t have happened.” Kramer, who made his fortune selling MKTW to DJ: “I think even when you make the Journal free, if he (Rupert Murdoch) does, which I think it’s probably a wise move, it’s still going to be problematic because the Journal doesn’t publish to a web audience on their needs, it publishes on a newspaper audience’s needs.”
Disclaimer: Larry Kramer is a member of the board of our parent company, ContentNext Media.