"You have to think of the convergence companies in terms of their multiplicity of functions. For film and television, the locus of control historically has been distribution. They have direct access to theaters in a way that independent producers can't match or onto the airwaves in a way not available to others.That distribution function has been the source of most of the profit in film and television over the years. Most film and television companies have been spinning off productive capability to small independent studios so they can fob off a lot of the risk and then pick and choose the more successful projects. Distribution is a whole new game on the Internet, and it's not clear how controllable it is. If the Net stays as anarchistic as it is now in terms of access, then distribution may not be a good way to control it. A better route may be controlling productive capability. In this case, the people who are going to succeed are the ones who get very good at investing in new products and new ideas, and at being right in a commercial sense."
DOUG CARLSTON cofounded Broderbund Software after starting a career as an attorney. Today he is its chairman and CEO.