"strategy" entries

Does Digital Cannibalize Print? Not Yet.

One of the big risk factors publishers think about when it comes to digital books is that they will cannibalize print sales. Factor in the lower prices we're seeing for ebooks, and it's a quite reasonable concern. Looking at data on sales from our website, at first glance that would appear to be exactly what's happening. But that's not the full story. If there really was cannibalization happening, you'd expect to see our print sales underperforming the overall computer book market, but that's not what's happening.

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"Being wrong is a feature, not a bug"

A thoughtful piece from Michael Nielsen on the disruption of the scientific publishing industry includes a lot that's very relevant to other publishers and media companies. For example: In conversations with editors I repeatedly encounter the same pattern: "But idea X won't work / shouldn't be allowed / is bad because of Y." Well, okay. So what? If you're…

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Zappos: If You Are Great at Something – Let It Go… (Or Resell It)

I am fascinated by what I see as Zappos' ongoing evolution from a simple, online retailer to a leading online innovator. A few months back I wrote about Zappos pioneering what I called “Experience Syndication" with their Powered by Zappos (PBZ) service. In brief, PBZ syndicates the end-to-end value of shopping with Zappos – from the online store experience…

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Online Communities: The Tribalization of Business

Recently I spoke with Francois Gossieaux of Beeline Labs about the role of online communities in the enterprise. Francois has been evangelizing the learning gained from his recent study “The Tribalization of Business” (see here for the Slideshare presentation). The interview is broken into three parts. Francois is a great storyteller, bringing case studies in to support nearly every point….

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A Star is Born? NY Times syndicates outside blogs but that's not enough

Recently the New York Times announced that it will be syndicating content from three well-known blogs, Read/Write Web, Giga Om and Venture Beat. The New York Times is using these blogs as an extra-sensory organ; they can dial into what is happening in the tech sector (and particularly the West Coast with this trio) without allocating a lot of internal…

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Customer Service is the New Marketing: Interview with Lane Becker

The Internet changes the power relations between companies and customers. Social technologies like blogs, social networks, ratings and reviews etc. allow customers to share experiences; good and bad to the 1.4 billion people on the Internet. Zappos exemplifies the positive benefits of extraordinary customer service while Comcast shines a light on the perils of getting it wrong. Lane (co-founder of…

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Getting Web 2.0 right: The hard stuff vs. the harder stuff…

I had a powerful conversation recently in Europe with one of the top executives of a major industrial company. They have 100K+ employees in over 50 countries. When he joined five years ago their business was struggling and in need of major transformation; their stock was at two dollars a share, they had ethics issues and product quality problems -…

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Open beats Closed: Best Buy’s new APIs

Best Buy is a pioneer when it comes to unleashing the talent of their own staff; from the Loop Marketplace that allows employees to submit ideas for Digg-style ranking AND funding across divisions (for example an HR manager can fund an idea from a customer service employee) to their use of prediction markets and their support of the employee-driven social network, Blue Shirt Nation.

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Essential Points in the Free Debate

The signal to noise ratio around free models is obscuring a number of key points. Here's a few worth discussing.

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