4. Know That Change Is Hard
The Tonight Show premiered in 1954 — the same year RCA manufactured the first color TV set. And even though it was No. 1 when Conan took over, the show (and format) had already seen its glory days and was bound to start faltering. Which is the worst time a guy like Conan could have shown up.
“An old business or business model that’s starting to fail can be a risky place for newcomers,” Mathison says. “Young people often join an established brand or company and want to be the next generation of an old legacy. Then, when it starts to fail, the company’s executives start to experiment and revise it. As it continues to fail, the executives want to put back all things that used to work in hopes of recapturing the old glory days — and that means they reject new ideas.”