For the second consecutive day, I am highlighting an article that has nothing to do with beer. Why do I do this? Because people within a bubble often don’t notice anything outside the bubble and begin to believe their problems are unique.
ESPN is going to lay off about 100 people today. Some of them you’ve never heard of and some them on air talent. They are also slashing the contracts of some of the people staying.
ESPN’s revenues are usually around the $10 billion range. ESPNs problem is that a significant portion of those revenues come from carriage fees. What are carriage fees you ask? Look at your cable or satellite bill to find out. Basically, ESPN gets a huge cut of all the carriage fees paid to cable/satellite companies. However, if you haven’t heard, many people are abandoning cable/satellite for internet over the top services. That means people are using Apple TV or Roku or other similar services to get their television fix. That leaves companies like ESPN, who because the way live sports rights fees work, screwed. ESPN bought all the television rights for live sports, but didn’t or couldn’t buy the internet rights. Now, a successful company that has almost always made the right decision is facing a troubled future.
Again, why I’m writing about this in a beer blog? Because, with all the talk about a craft beer bubble bursting or a shakeout of the craft beer business, we are watching as ESPN, one of the most successful and ubiquitous brands in the world, must lay off people. ESPN has a good business plan and good leadership, yet they are still subject to the quickly changing landscape of their chosen business.
I learned to accept that people are here one day and then they are not at an early age. When brands or businesses die, I don’t get angry at capitalism or the people who didn’t buy the thing. I feel sorry for the people who lose their livelihood because of it and wish them luck and a speedy recovery to the land of the working. Just because something exists doesn’t mean it must always exist. Continued existence is not guaranteed for anything or anyone.
The thing I learned most from playing sports and then again when I started studying Zen and then again when I started his blog, is you cannot affect outcomes. All you can do is what you are supposed to do to the best of your abilities.
If successful and powerful ESPN can make missteps and must lay off people, your brewery no matter how successful may have to do the same thing. It may even have to close. However, do not let that be the end. Whatever happens in the next 5 years in craft brewing, don’t operate in fear. Just control the things you can control. It took a long time for me to understand that. It isn’t that there haven’t been failures or missteps, but I learned from those more than any of the successes. How do you learn to walk? By falling down, getting back up, and doing something different then what made you fall down.