Skip Prichard, CEO and President of Ingram Content Group, provided a keynote full of energy and enthusiasm. (The video is available here.) His theme was the adoption of technology, change, taking risks, and staying true to the purpose of the company. Skip began with a general overview and summary of the technologies of today stating, ”we are rushing to an age of connectivity,” location based services will have a profound impact on society (foursquare, etc.) and personalized content will have a huge impact – customized ads on billboards, contact lenses with virtual reality element, etc.
The entire book industry’s business model is in a period of change. Libraries are changing, everyone is changing and adapting. The digital age – It is here. This is not a phase, not a temporary thing. It is here. Experts are popping out everywhere and offering predictions on the future. Bet your strategy on a single prediction and you BETTER be right.
We all need a strategy. Understand your purpose and stay true to your purpose. Your purpose is not to preserve your existing infrastructure. How do you differentiate your company?
Standard Operating Procedures – be careful of your SOPs, are they still needed? What are we doing today that doesn’t make sense anymore? Is your company able to adapt and change? Don’t let your company’s past get in the way of your company’s future.
Some changes in process in the publishing industry are:
- Rise of new pricing and bundling
- Rise of short form content
- Enhanced eBooks on the rise
- Social elements of eBooks – share books, share bookshelves, global conversations on books
What if we apply many new technologies to our industry?
- What if an author allowed biometrics to change the ending of the book based on your mood?
- What if you were reading a book, jumped in car, and audio picked up where you were?
- What if the characters/place names in books changed based on your geolocation?
- What if a physical retailer checked in visitors with device (or facial recognition) and coupons or suggested activities are customized based on your visit.
If you experiment with new models – Fail Quickly! If you aren’t failing, you aren’t experimenting or taking risks. Change happens at the periphery. If the answer is plain, in would be easy. Are we leveraging the talent in our own organizations? Talent is often hidden – find it, cultivate it, bring it out!
Everything in the industry is not going to change. But, we cannot stand still. It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.