not gonna fly: hyperink, ebooks from everyone

May 2nd, 2012 § Comments Off on not gonna fly: hyperink, ebooks from everyone § permalink

i like books, i like blogs, i like long tail models, but i don’t think this will work:

With the “Blog To Books” program, Hyperink assigns a staff editor to curate a blogger’s posts, structure them into a narrative format, and then create a book in PDF, epub, and mobi formats.

from: Techcrunch

it’s not the amount of work really, but the available supply and demand – there is not much of either:

  • i’d guess there is less than 20k blogs that will ever want to create a sellable ebook
  • i’d guess that each of them will sell 50 ebooks, mainly as gifts for their friends

it saddens me when investors and media pump up the expectations of otherwise interesting startup teams. sure you can argue that if the team is right, they will pivot from this idea anyway. but in b3c marketplace businesses like this, it usually takes a lot of energy to get enough disproof that you can actually decide to pivot.


Hot / Cold

January 17th, 2012 § 4 comments § permalink

English: Lifted toilet seat reveals compost bi...

Image via Wikipedia

I hate cold. it makes me angry and antisocial. nothing special, just the way I am. I can take cold if necessary, I just know that I don’t like it. I don’t see why I would change that. I’m assuming I’m not the only one, but also expect that there are some cold-lover out there as well.

However, this condition made me specially sensitive to some social phenomena. the latest one, that I really really don’t understand is people’s behavior on public restrooms. They seem to be either specially designed for cold-lovers, or there is much more cold-lover out there than I imagined.

a) more often than not they are without heating. I get that, landlords are cheap and save money on heating. it’s not nice of them, but nobody spends lots of time in public toilets anyway. and I can handle my anger in small quantities anyway.

b) more often than not, there is an open window right behind the toilet seat. again, I can understand the reasons, even though they annoy me – nobody likes the smell of the person before him, and landlords are cheap and save money on ventilation.

c) roughly half of public restrooms don’t offer warm water. again, cheap landlords. however, in the other half that does, more often than not, like 80% of the time, the hot/cold water faucet is turned all the way to the cold one. let’s ponder a bit on this observation:

  • every time you use public restroom, someone else was there before you and you inherit their ‘preferred environment’. this means the water temperature preference is being suggested to you.
  • a lot of public restrooms don’t offer hot water, but those that do are not being used most of the time.
  • there is no way that so many people would be making a mistake in turning the faucet. all the faucets on the planet use the same direction for hot / cold water – all the faucets everybody is using at home, in their own bathroom and kitchen, use the same layout. they should be programmed to instinctively know which way to turn for warm.
Now, the question I have is this: does this experience mean, that 80% of people are actually cold-lovers and prefer being exposed to cold elements? Do they wash the dishes with cold water then? maybe that’s why they invented washing machines – so they don’t have to be exposed to warm water for too long?
I just don’t get it.
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How to save Barnes and Noble and improve American way of life

August 12th, 2010 § Comments Off on How to save Barnes and Noble and improve American way of life § permalink

Eslite Bookstore in Taichung Chung-yo Departme...
Image via Wikipedia

Was reading this article on how formerly greatest bookstore is doing to improve and accommodate for the future. I’m thrilled to hear they are doing something, because I really enjoy visiting bookstores, and theirs are one of the best. But…
The main question they are focusing on is “how to get more visitors?” – very contemporary 🙂 and their answer is: by putting stuff other than books on the shelves – games, toys,… All good and well if it works, but I’d rather see two other tactics being employed to make bookstore more appealing.

  1. give me good coffee and I’ll spend hours browsing around these urban oasis. Bookstores are the quietest, most pleasant environments in a big city, where you can be with yourself. Now if they also spoiled me just a bit… 🙂 Learn from Bar And Books.
  2. stop thinking of yourself as a store, bookshop of the future is actually a storefront. Don’t bother with the counters, just let me buy digital editions by using a camera on my smartphone. I would buy many many books if I didn’t have to carry them around and get bad conciseness while waiting in line to pay. Think iTunes, micropayments, cheaper editions, audiobooks bundles…

Basically, what I’m saying is: Leverage the best attributes that amazon can’t copy and build on them. Otherwise We’ll start browsing trough your stores and buy online.

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December 18th, 2007 § Comments Off on T-8h § permalink

imageToday is a very special day. For the first time in my life, I had to go to work in my office in the morning. It was interesting, how this occured to only after I’ve already been waking up for some half an hour. Suddenly I had to run, no morning coffee, no tea, no breakfast, no time.
I wasn’t late. In fact, I was the first to show up. *sigh*
We got this office just before we set out for the wild wild west, so in the last months, our head of home office was using it. He had quite some obligations here, so it was very useful for him. What surprised me a bit is, that just looking at it, one can tell that – by the peaceful disorder on one of the desks, by nicely labeled maps of documents, which I had left in a complete mess, by a pack of Cedevita on the shelf.
I felt at home coming to my office today. Then I noticed a strange object on the file cabinet – a plaquete. Right, ‘we’ received some awards in the meantime, and it never occured to me, that they come in physical form. I held it in my hands, just like you are suppose to look at the plaquete, and threw it on the sofa, but with just enough care, that it landed smoothly. Oh, no, no sofa, sorry – I just put it back whre it was.
In another corner I spotted an ever stranger object. Another award, in the shape of a black and colorful monoltyth. I like monolyths, and this one comes in two pieces, that stick together by the sheer force of air. Interesting.
The next task for me will be to find some coffee. And breakfast.
Today is bound to be a good day.

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