Thanks for the continuing great comments. I should have titled the thread "What the Watchtower needs to do Doctrinally to survive", as the financial issues they are facing are a whole topic on their own.
Regarding finances, I do not think it is as bad as it seems. The Watchtower made money in the past as a publishing house. Now they can't sell magazines that income stream is failing. As people move from paper to digital media there will be even less opportunity to get money for this information from donations and publishers. I cannot see them making money from google advertising on their site, or charging people to read online articles, as other publishers do.
However, they simply need to start asking more often for donations, in the same way other religions have always done.
00DAD - Interesting comment about the oldest living people. I found a more detailed link at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_supercentenarians that shows there are 17 people born August 1899, the date that was once the furthest cut off point for the generation. I have wondered about that for a while, and glad you pointed it out.
Outsmartthesystem - you have highlighted an issue with my article, since it will be very difficult to suddenly move to teaching we have an immortal soul. Any change would have to be preceded by a gradual opening up of the heavenly hope, so that people can accept either option.
iart - Yes, religion in general is suffering decline, particularly those clinging to old fashioned beliefs and practices, and the religion needs to become liberal and exciting for any hope of attracting and retaining younger generations.
Lostgeneration - You have hit the nail on the head. Most exJWs are actively opposed for a single reason - shunning. That was the most important aspect that kept me trapped in the religion, and the driver for why I created jwfacts.com. Get rid of shunning and the religion will be able to silence the most vocal opposers. As much as the religion uses shunning to trap people in the religion, in my opinion it has actually been counter-productive, is the cause of opposition and overall has damaged the religion and growth more than helped it.
biometrics - It will be hard to drop 1914, since that and 1919 are core to the teaching that the religion should spring up in the time of the end, but looking forward decades it will need to go too.
refriedtruth - I agree that all the apocalyptic doomsdayers are great at highlighting that the Watchtower is just another one of these nutty groups. I was shocked years ago at finding a list of these groups over the last 2000 years.
Besty - Good comments. "Two factors will keep them going indefinitely IMHO - whether they thrive or merely survive is a different question." That is a bit of a change from when you first left. I seem to recall you predicting they only had a couple of years left, of growth at least, as I did too when first leaving. It is a tough realisation that the religion will continue for some time to come.
Cedars - I hope you are right that they won't survive. But as you said, either way, they are already inconsequential and will become more and more so in time.
Slimboyfat - It is possible that they can keep the idea of living forever on earth, they just need to tweak it. Possibly as you say, they can show that we can live forever, and somewhere along the line God will step in to remove wickedness. Or like some evangelical groups, they can say we will come back to a new earth. I guess my point is that if the end does not look imminent an option other than soul sleep needs to be offered.
You have all provided me a lot of food for thought for a new article.