My Piece in Publishing Perspectives

I have started doing some written for a great outlet called Publishing Perspectives.

Led by Ed Nawotka, the site is taking a markedly different approach to covering the industry, much more diverse and global than you will find other places.

Today, they published my first piece titled Disruptive Innovation: What Health Care Teaches Us About the Future of Publishing.

In the March 4th, 2010 issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen wrote an op-ed about his views on the then-active debate over health care. The essay was written from his unique vantage point having studied companies and industries faced with the challenges of innovation. Christensen has authored or co-authored five books and countless articles on the subject of innovation and suggested the solution being offered in Washington was not going to lower health care costs.

In Christensen’s world, there are two kinds of innovation. The first is sustaining innovation, the kinds of incremental improvements that companies implement to serve existing customers (NEW! Big Brand laundry detergent, now with Stain Blocker!) The second is disruptive innovation, fundamentally new offerings that are cheaper and simpler than anything on the market that in turn create new markets that undermine incumbent firms.

In publishing, the emergence of Amazon at a time when only bricks-and-mortar stores existed would fit this disruptive profile perfectly with their business model of discounted prices, availability of every book in print and the single-click shopping experience.

Today, the emergence of digital publishing and e-books is, without a doubt, a form of innovation, but whether it proves to be merely incremental or truly disruptive will take some time to tell.

Read on…

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