Lately, I have been inspired by a whole host of things. The disruption of book publishing continues as ebook sales continue to grow. My trip to SXSW early this month reminded me again of the entrepreneurial spirit that so many people are embracing. And I continue to be fascinated with the application of lean methodologies to areas ranging from web start-ups to health care.
All of this inspiration has led to my next project, a software project called ScreenPug.
My founding thesis is that we need a new tool for writing and publishing in a world of screens. All the tools we have now from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDesign were built to make printing on paper more efficient. What we need now is a tool that makes it simple to publish our works on screens.
I am not the only who is seeing this need. Kevin Kelly has started a blog called Screen Publishing and a user group in the San Francisco Bay area to explore publishing on screens.
I have three founding principles for Screen Pug:
- The writing interface should be simple and eliminate distractions. WriteRoom and OmmWriter are good examples of this approach. WordPress even has a full screen mode that does a pretty good job.
- The content should be separated from the formatting, stored in HTML and CSS.
- The tool should interface with WordPress for blog posts, it should let you publish ebooks in popular formats like epub or mobi, and create pdf files with a push of a button.
There are lots of programs that have pieces of this, but none of them have it all in one place and none of them focus on the writer.
To do more than just talk about how publishing should change, this weekend I am participating in Startup Weekend Portland. I will be pitching the idea of ScreenPug and seeing if I can recruit some folks to help make this idea real.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, do two things for me.
1. Drop your email address at http://screenpug.com.
2. Share the news. After you signup, you’ll get a website url that you can tweet, facebook, blog, email to others.
Thanks for listening as always and I plan to have something to share with you very soon.