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Building Resilience in the Face of Disruption

Business model innovation is required in an ever-changing media landscape. 





A new business model was developed to meet the needs of a client looking to transition her documentary film business into the new media landscape. 

A comprehensive review of the current media environments and the challenges and shortcomings of the current business model paved the way for a client-centred inquiry. The client was profiled to understand how their skills and motivations could infuse a new use of her talents, and employ a new market research concept.


The final report provided a series of steps to guide the client through a successful transition and received resounding praise for its attunement to the client's needs. 



New business model, business transition report


Ryan Taylor, Oktay Kesebi, Jyotish Sonowal, Janice DeJong, Jenny Whyte


"Nobody explains how to do online media as a business but I know people who make money at it. Help me make money!" 

- Client, 2016

The problem framing set out to us by the client was simple: "Make me more money." In order to do so, it was clear that not only would we need to understand the current business model, the changing media industry and examine ways the myriads ways people are making money off online content, but also, work to understand the client values, passions, and motivations. 


User-centric approaches guided the inquiry and focused our thinking, ensuring that the business was examined as a system that functions on the skills and resources of the business owner. Understanding the client was the key to successfully transitioning their business model into one that makes money long into its future.


After extensive client interviews, it was clear that it wasn't just about making money, it was about following a passion and sticking to a set of values that drove the client.


Reframed problem:

"How might we help the client make ‘content that matters’ in a world of distributed, user-driven content?"



This project occurred over six weeks and employed multiple design research techniques. 







1. Client Interviews


Understanding the skills, values, and history of our client's business was of primary importance to our understanding of what this new business model should look like. As the client was the sole proprietor of the business, their investment in the concept and their ability to execute what we proposed drove the frame of inquiry.


2. Business Analysis 

Understanding how the current business model functioned to make money required building trust with the client through a lot of conversation. Understanding the model's previous success required understanding how the industry functioned in a previous era.

3. Industry and Trend Research 

Primary research with industry experts, extensive secondary research and trend scanning was used to validate theories and build an understanding of the new media environment. 

4. System Mapping 

Multiple layers, scales, and interactions within the new media environment were mapped to visually explain the dynamics that come into play when analyzing the changes within the media landscape. 








New Media: From Oligopoly to Democracy 

The environment in which our client made most of her success functioned on her connections with certain industry professionals dictating the market. The continued rise of the internet and advanced personal recording mobile technology has created a democratized production landscape.

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Consumer Transition: From 1st to 2nd screen media

The technology-driven new-media landscape has changed where we view content. We have transitioned away from 'first screen' viewing platforms and now most customers consume content on 'second screens'. Second screen content is dominated by mostly independent, amateur producers following their passion. 

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Endless Inspiration: 2nd screen media is highly responsive to 1st screen content 

Second screen content often reacts to the major events happening on traditional broadcast networks. This, in turn, generates an endless source of inspiration for a seasoned producer to create high-quality content in response to events happening on the first screen.



A transition report advocates a business model based on accumulated industry knowledge and learned insights. The report generates a step by step guide for client implementation.

The report provided a comprehensive review of the current media environments and the challenges and shortcomings of the current business model. It builds success by capitalizing on content virality and plays to the strengths of a seasoned producer.

The report guides the client through a series of informative learning insights, example case studies, and clear success steps to guide their transition from their existing business model to a model with long-term viability.

The report coaches success through an iterative process of lean learning employed during each video release.


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Want to talk about overcoming uncertainly in your business transition?

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