The Imitation Temptation

Here’s a typical publishing news item, this one from posted on February 18, 2007:

“Thomas Nelson Incorporated and Realbuzz Studios would like to announce an exclusive multi-year contract to release a minimum of 26 manga titles, immediately making Thomas Nelson the market leader of faith-based manga content. ”

Regularly we hear about a publisher employing a new marketing strategy, a new way of handling fulfillment, a new internal structure or a new line of books. Whenever someone in publishing hears something like this, the temptation is to say, “Oh, we ought to do that too.” There are several reasons to resist such urges.
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The World Is Flat

The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman is quite a good book about the rapid change in world economics. No longer are the US and the West at the top of the hill looking down on everyone else. The world is flattening and the advantages of the West are rapidly eroding. To put it another way, everyone has an increasingly equal opportunity to succeed due to a variety of very significant technological, systems and political changes. He explains the changes by example and description.
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Sony Reader PRS-500

The new Sony ebook reader is now in stores. But . . .

You can’t search it.
You can’t write notes in the margin.
You have to have Windows XP.
There’s a half-second delay when you press the turn-the-page button.
You can’t skip directly to a particular page.
There’s no backlight option for those who want to read in the dark.
It costs about $350.

What’s Sony thinking?

Here’s what and Time magazine are thinking.

An Underrated Quality

One overlooked and underrated leadership quality that has gotten a bit more press recently is humility.

We should be grateful to Jim Collins for raising our consciousness about this trait with his concept of Level 5 Leadership–a person who combines great ambition for the organization with great personal humility. He offers a number of examples of leaders who missed this mark and those who hit the target, most famously, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln.
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Inflicting My Opinions

To write a blog, you need to have an interesting personality or provocative opinions. I have neither.

But as I wrote Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. (IVP, 2006), the history of InterVarsity Press over its first 60 years, I began to realize, I do have opinions, opinions about publishing. They may not be interesting, but they are strong.
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