Bundling, Unbundling and Ebook Subscription Services

August 5, 2014

How to Succeed in Business by Bundling – and Unbundling is a thought-provoking interview with Marc Andreessen and Jim Barksdale online at the Harvard Business Review. Marc Andreessen was the co-founder of Netscape. Jim Barksdale is a veteran of IBM, FedEx and AT&T Wireless “brought on a few months after Netscape’s founding to provide adult supervision as its CEO.” Both are now tech company VC investors. Barksdale, in his early 70s, is one of those rare executives whose advice reflects a depth of experience, much longed for in this age of the “serial entrepreneur.” (more…)

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Amazon’s Fire Phone is Mainly for Amazon’s Customers

June 18, 2014

Several journalists took a small segue today in their coverage of the launch of the Amazon Fire Phone to note that Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been extinguished. Or nearly so. Based on IDC’s May report, the Kindle Fire has only 1.9% of worldwide tablet shipments, down 47% year-to-year. (more…)

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How Amazon Destroyed the Publishing Ecosystem

March 12, 2014

Everyone takes a shot at Amazon, and it’s not difficult to see why. Founder/CEO Jeff Bezos is blamed for just about every corporate crime imaginable, from pricing that destroys competition to suffocating warehouse employees on hot summer days (apparently no longer a problem).

My criticism of Amazon is about an issue perhaps more subtle, but, in my view far more serious. Amazon has destroyed the publishing industry by destroying its well-honed ecosystem. Sure, all of the other issues and criticisms stay on the table. This issue is for me the heart of darkness of our beleaguered industry. (more…)

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BOOKISHNESS: What Makes a Book a Book?

April 22, 2013

In our madcap rush to digitize the book we’ve been all too willing to attempt both to replicate the physical book experience in the digital realm and to just as quickly discard any feature of physical books that proved too challenging to emulate online. (more…)

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Maundy Thursday Special: Goodreads Betrays Both Writers and Readers

March 28, 2013

What impeccable timing from Goodreads, on a day observed by many because of a far more potent betrayal.

The Goodreads’ folks always struck me as decent people who genuinely care about writers and readers. I am surprised and disappointed. Perhaps even saddened.

I would imagine that Goodreads’ 30 pieces of silver are many, many millions. I think that they must have been well paid for this betrayal; the decision cannot have been easy.

Amazon  Press Release Goodreads







Thad McIlroy on Goodreads









Remove your data from Goodreads







Goodreads export







March 29: All Things Digital reports that Amazon paid a base of $150 million, most cash (not that Amazon’s shares aren’t a solid currency) and may pay up to $200 million “if certain performance metrics are met.” It’s admittedly between difficult and impossible to say no to that kind of cash, especially if you can convince yourself that Amazon is keen on “continuing to grow (y)our vision as an independent entity, under the Goodreads brand and with (y)our unique culture. ” Hey it’s the same thing as Zappos, right?

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