Compared to today’s computer technology, electronic devices of the late 80’s to mid 90’s tech revolution resemble products from the Flintstone era. Cell phones alone give that impression. And the desire for more power in devices smaller than laptops is fueling a growing market. Increases in microprocessor speed coupled with reductions in size and power requirements position tablets on the leading edge of the current tech explosion. Understanding changing technology is only part of the struggle. The greater challenge may be envisioning new uses for that technology.
It’s unfortunate the leaders of Borders couldn’t figure out how to incorporate these advances. CEO Mike Edwards’ letter to the employees made it clear the leadership there considered the “rapidly changing book industry” and “eReader revolution” external forces. I don’t understand that thinking when your company sells books. Surely considering how the customer wants to purchase and receive your product is intrinsic to one’s business surviving.
The lessons are clear. If you write or publish you need to capitalize on the technology available. The truly prescient are already imagining what’s next. That description fits software developer Mike Matas. Mike demos an electronic version of Our Choice, Al Gore’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth in the video below. It shows a few of the ways digital books are evolving. There are many more possibilities. It’s up to us to figure them out.