By 2016, the media ecosystem of 2008 was impossible to recognize. It was the perfect petri dish for a fungus like Trumpism to grow. Trump understood that there were no rules and referees and that a good story was much more valuable than an accurate one. Trump’s main media experiences are the absurdity of reality television and the no-holds-barred world of Big Apple tabloid journalism. Sadly, these were the perfect experiences to compete for president in 2016. In hindsight, it seems obvious that Trump would thrive in this environment. The hints were there all along, going back way before he even ran. To grapple with these changes, I proposed going to Silicon Valley and New York to pick the brains of the smartest people in tech and media to better understand the current state of affairs and where things might be going. I went to Google, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and everywhere in between. I met with the venture capitalists who were looking for the next Google and Facebook. The gravity of the challenge before us came in a meeting in Silicon Valley when I explained the difficulty in getting our message out in the fragmented media environment, and one of the executives from a Silicon Valley giant responded: “We have been wondering the same thing and hoped you had some good ideas.”
From Yes We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer.