The Rise of the Caped Crusader

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I just read this article by Jeremy Greenfield on the Digital Book World website and I really liked where he was going with his analysis. He gave 3 reasons why would not be successful, and then gave 3 reasons why would succeed. All of his reasoning was plausible, and it does appear that the results could go either way. is Batman to Amazon’s Joker. The enemy has been met and he, they, we, is us!

The Book Kahuna Predicts will succeed!

That’s right; I am not going to sugar-coat this and split my opinions: I believe that will succeed. Americans love an underdog, whether it is the Colonial Army in 1776, Captain Kirk and Company in “The Wrath of Khan”, the ’69 Mets, or The Actual Underdog of Sweet Polly Purebred fame. We as a people are always on the side of the little guy against the “Death Star”. It only makes sense that given a choice between two widely disparate avenues, the consuming populace will try something new to avert a complete and utter takeover by the evil Amazon Empire.

How Big is Too Big?

Is big really bad? Not in the least, we have had the largest building in the world in The Empire State, The World Trade Center, and The Sears Tower. We have the largest state in Alaska; the largest ball of rubber bands is out there, as well as the largest collection of Barbie dolls on the planet. Corporate bigness can be fantastic, but competition is the best part of being big. When someone sets the challenge that pushes you back on your heels, this is the essence of corporate innovation and achievement.

Is big really bad? Not in the least, but when you have a puppy facing off against a Pit Bull, more times than not the sympathy factor will lie with the newcomer and not the established dog. Also, the team of publishers who are banding together to make this website take shape are no slouches in the overall scheme of publishing expertise.

The Lineup

“Last night, the long-anticipated, much-delayed finally launched. It took two years and three CEOs, but the big-publisher-backed venture (Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster) is up and running.”

This lineup of heavy hitters will ensure that will have a large backdrop of cash from each to make this go. This is one of those blog posts that will not go away, and I will be watching the sales figures very closely to see if my prediction holds up over the course of a few years. I will be very surprised to have to report this enterprise did not succeed, but only time will tell if and when we will know for sure if is here to stay.

“After all the hoopla and the data science and the sleek design (the site does look pretty good), the site needs to make money if it’s to be around this time next year. Bookish has an uphill battle ahead of it: Stiff, entrenched competition; no dedicated e-reading device; no iOS reading app for two weeks and no desktop or browser-based app on the roadmap; and all the challenges a new, consumer-oriented businesses faces (branding, marketing, running a new operation, running cash-negative, deciding which investments to make, etc.).”

In the immortal words of Marshal Ferdinand Foch: “My center is yielding; My right is retreating; Situation excellent; I am attacking.” is on the offensive.


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