The word “disruption” is hardly unfamiliar to those in the publishing industry. Almost every part of book business has been affected by disruption, particularly of the digital kind, from the advent and availability of ereaders to the struggle for bricks-and-mortar stores to keep up with online retailers. With several disruptive companies already in full swing and announcements of new startups every day, Forrester Research VP and Principal Analyst James McQuivey’s Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation (published, appropriately enough, by Amazon this year) seems like the ideal read for anyone in the book business.
Though this title is not specific to book business, McQuivey repeats throughout that digital disruption will affect every industry. The agility of new electronic platforms and digital technology in general has not only accelerated the rate of change in every business sector, but also allows for individuals to wield greater power. McQuivey cites entrepreneurs like Guy Cramer, who developed an online camouflage business, and Charles Teague with his weight loss program/community FitNow, as case studies demonstrating how one idea can create an entire business. He also goes so far as to say that future companies may be a part of a “disposable economy” where small teams of innovators work together on a certain project and disband after completion. This all embraces the lean startup mentality—but what is a company to do when it is not a startup? How can legacy publishers take advantage of this revolution? Read More