My book, Read This Before Our Next Meeting, contains some typos. They’re on purpose. No, my publisher and I didn’t plan them, but we knew they were inevitable.
Traditional publishers can take more than a year to get a book to market. The Domino Project was committed to innovation and promised to publish books much faster. They did, publishing mine in three months.
We made a deliberate choice to speed up only because we figured our readers could live with a few mistakes.
Apparently both CNN and Fox News have made a similar choice. A couple weeks ago, they jumped the gun on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. After realizing they broke the wrong news, they quickly corrected their error.
Of course, this isn’t a rare occurrence in the news business anymore. In their relentless pursuit to be the first to break every story, many media outlets have set themselves up for a much higher likelihood of mistakes.
Unfortunately, I don’t think their mistakes are as easy to live with. In their world, the difference between 100% and 99% accuracy is the difference between a source you can trust, and one you can’t. It’s not surprising that a recent Gallup poll shows only 21% of American adults have “a great deal of confidence” in television news compared to 46% in 1993.
In a world that’s moving faster than ever, every organization should consider speeding up. But when mistakes are predictably disastrous, maybe you should reconsider.