Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bookish.com: The Rise of the Caped Crusader

Don 002-5x7_pp

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/three-reasons-why-bookish-will-fail-and-three-reasons-why-it-wont/

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 Bookish.com would not be successful, and then gave 3 reasons why Bookish.com would succeed. All of his reasoning was plausible, and it does appear that the results could go either way. Bookish.com is Batman to Amazon’s Joker. The enemy has been met and he, they, we, is us!

The Book Kahuna Predicts Bookish.com will succeed!

That’s right; I am not going to sugar-coat this and split my opinions: I believe that Bookish.com 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 Bookish.com 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 Bookish.com 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 Bookish.com 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.”

Bookish.com is on the offensive.

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When Good Companies Change!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi!

There are times when you go to work and everything is going your way. The buzz at the water cooler is all positive and gives off a vibe that the department, section, or company you are in can take on the world and conquer it.

Then, there are the companies that plod through the daily exercise of productivity with no insights, no foresights and no focus on where, when and how the future will be obtained.

First, how do you know which is which?

If you walk into your new job for the first day and are greeted with smiling colleagues who have been there for a good amount of time, then you probably won the lotto and landed at a place that values input from staff and subordinates. New ideas abound and there is no stupid question to be asked. The only detrimental question is the one that never gets uttered.

If you walk into an environment and there are frightened images of Meryl Steep’s character from “The Devil Wears Prada”, the resume better be handy and ready to e-mail to the next perspective employer. I’ve been in both situations, and as a publishing professional who went back to school to get an advanced degree to stay competitive in my field, I know there is a spot out there just waiting for an ambitious, driven person with great credentials. The world should be my oyster right, but in this economy, steamed clams are all you can wish to hope for.

What do you do as you await the “Dream Experience”?

I keep thinking, “Pitchers and catchers report in a week”. I am studying German via Rosetta Stone getting ready to go on my trip of a lifetime to Germany/Austria/Switzerland and hopefully Northern Italy. I keep working my vending business, Skootdad Vending and Refreshments. The financing is almost paid off and I am looking to expand in the coming months.

You are probably asking, “What’s a Skootdad?”

When I was setting up my first computer that my buddy and I built from scratch, I was trying to set up my Juno e-mail account. Every iteration of my name would not work, and just at that second, my cat walked by. My cat’s name was Skooter (named after Phil Rizzuto, The Scooter), so my e-mail became skootersdad! Sometimes you have to take your inspirations where you find them. We do not get to pick and choose when brilliance will give us the insights to the better mousetrap.

How does this fit into books, oh Book Kahuna?

You have to stay positive and do the best job you humanly can no matter where or when you are doing it. The reason is that you never know who is watching what you do, and will be affected by your positive demeanor even in the most menial of tasks. Do it to be the BEST, no matter what it is.

As Napoleon Hill wrote in The Law of Success Complete: “Pleasing Personality is the “fulcrum” on which you must place the “crow-bar” of your efforts and when so placed, with intelligence, it will enable you to remove mountains of obstacles. This one lesson alone has made scores of Master Salesmen.”

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