I read with interest the blog posting on the Digital Book World site CPR for Nook by Jeremy Greenfield, and I was quite disturbed by what this may mean to the marketplace in the near future.
Stay Cool with Cal!
Calvin Coolidge is reputed to have quipped the phrase, “The business of America, is business!” If we are to believe this statement, then the overriding force that drives business to achieve is the competitive edge that comes from being engaged in trying to outsell the opponent. Ford thrives on competition from GM and Chrysler. Apple is innovating by keeping Samsung and Microsoft at bay. The most famous of the competitors is Coke vs. Pepsi in the ongoing Cola wars (If you put the Cola wars together they are longer than all wars the United States has been engaged in since the revolution!) Saying goodbye to the Nook would have repercussions and ramifications for the consuming public that they do not currently realize.
Barnes and Noble will continue to exist and sell books in the “Brick and Mortar” establishment that everyone currently knows, but without the Nook, Amazon will be left to battle Apple in the arena of e-readers and tablets that has engulfed the US Market in a firestorm of digital realities since the early days of the 21st century. Can Amazon or Apple emerge as the giant that rules over the landscape of e-books and e-readers? If I had to give a forecast, I would think that Amazon will eventually come out ahead, but the balance of power will not be a two-way street since Apple has their fingers in so many other pies for revenue share.
ET Phone Home, or read a message!
One other topic to keep in mind, the US market is the only one where the e-book forces are in direct competition with each other for sales of readers. The rest of the world’s populace are reading e-books on Smartphones. This could eventually have a spill-over effect as more and more people begin to use their Smartphones as the preferred device for reading e-books, periodicals and newspapers. I’m not sure I would ever want to start reading War and Peace on a Smartphone, but there are instances where recipes and short articles on do-it-yourself projects might be feasibly readable on my phone. The one good thing that may come out of the alleged demise of the Nook would be the simplification of formats and sales portals that increase the universal nature of identifier codes for file transmission. If there is one universal code in say, an e-pub format, and only one file has to be saved in an archive, then the simplification and reduction in numbers would be a staggering advance forward in getting content out to those who are waiting for it. Of course, this theorem only is supportive of a platform that has not developed an identifier coding system that will rename, save and forward an e-book file to the respective distributor.
Come With Me If You Want to Live…
With the possible demise of the Nook, it’s 1997 all over again and SKYNET has become self-aware! Hopefully the Nook will be able to avoid Termination, but if I had to lay a wager on the B and N planning team I would think they are collectively saying: “I’ll be Back!”
Follow me on Twitter at: Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna