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Finding the right tech stack is complicated. Some spaces are loaded with options and navigating the tricky waters of whose services you need and which vendors are a good fit for your company, takes time and strategy.
David Arkin Consulting was lucky enough to be selected as the co-lead on an important project with the Local Media Association to provide tech stack support to six LGBTQ+-owned news organizations.
The project, called the Queer Media Sustainability Lab, is meant to improve the long-term sustainability of those organizations. Each of the publishers is getting a $22,500 stipend to help with their technology needs through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Last week, we were with those publishers at the LMA Fest in Chicago where we talked more about the technology needs and introduced the group to several significant vendors in spaces that we imagine will be of interest to those publishers.
This is a terrific project and will improve operations for all of the publishers who are taking part. But establishing the right tech stack is not only a need for these six publishers, it’s something we see many companies need help navigating.
It’s complicated because of the impact a technology change can have, from understanding what the tech can truly do for your organization to the actual work it will take to make the move. Working with experts who know the best tools but also understanding how it fits an organization’s needs and abilities, is really critical.
It’s easy to get attracted to the new shiny tool, but the process we’re going through with this lab is helping truly evaluate the need, the business case and how it would be used in the real world.
David Arkin Consulting does exactly what we’re working with these six publishers on, for clients across newspapers, television and magazines.
And these are the things we have learned most from that work:
1. What is holding you back? Look at your tech stack and establish the pain points (write them down). Don’t limit this to one area and rank them based on just how painful they are. This will create priority on solutions you should be seeking and what you shouldn’t. This also makes conversations with vendors more specific and meaningful.
2. Where is there opportunity? It’s great to find solutions to your problems, but where do some of those solutions not just fix an issue but actually provide you with a huge opportunity? This makes that list above even more meaningful when you layer this in.
3. What do you not know? Those who approach their tech stack with eyes wide open are most likely to stumble on solutions they didn’t even know existed. Media types are filled with curiosity, so approaching that level of wonder you use when reporting a story when learning about a new vendor or idea, can trigger products and solutions you didn’t even know existed.
4. Can you create more audience and profit? If none of this adds to more revenue and audience, it’s not worth the investment. That question should be asked through every area with a very honest and realistic view that it can or can’t happen. And it’s a very fair question to press any vendor you are talking to, not just that you can create more audience and revenue, but how and how those your same size or situation, have done it.
While there is a lot more that goes into evaluating a tech stack, we found this overview above to be a good way of evaluating what a publisher needs and how to find the right solution.
We’d love to tell you more about how we work with publishers and help evaluate their tech stack. Connect with us today at David@davidarkinconsulting.com.