The main reason why it’s so hard to find a new format that strikes a chord is because we broadcasters don’t recognize them when we see them.
As author Leonard Mlodinow writes in the tremendous book The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, back in the 50’s one book was routinely and uniformly rejected by publishers. “Very dull,” said one. “A dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotion, said another. “Even back when the subject was timely, I don’t see that there would have been a chance for it,” noted a third.
When it was eventually published, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank went on to sell 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books in history.
And Diary has plenty of company. George Orwell’s Animal Farm was rejected because “it’s impossible to sell an animal story.” John Grisham’s A Time to Kill was turned down by twenty-six publishers and the first book by Dr. Seuss was rejected by twenty-seven.
One of the main challenges facing radio in the years to come is to open the floodgates of creativity and invention and novelty and to recreate radio’s content from the inside out.
Will you recognize Diary of a Young Girl if you see it?