Paul Kedrosky’s Charts Newsletter had this wonderful graphic highlighting the increasing woes of traditional media formats, thanks to millennials and GenZ. However, things don’t look bad for one category: books.

Kids (and older kids) are still reading books at a decent clip, and perhaps will continue to do so, mostly it is a good antidote to the fractionalized and noisy media environment. This is such a huge opportunity for innovation around the “book” format.

With digital book formats and the rise of audiobooks, there is an opportunity to make books more in sync with the new audience. For start, books could be leaner — most books are about 50 percent overweight. They could be published faster — the current cycle takes somewhere between 18-to-24 months before a book is available to the readers. My ideal book — given my millennial like attention span — is one that takes an equivalent of a flight across the country.

The old fashioned paper books have one problem — they take up too much space. I grapple with that issue all the time — I have too many books and need to give some away!

November 13, 2020, San Francisco

Future Shocked

It has been 50 years this month since Alvin and Heidi Toffler published their book, Future Shock. The Tofflers have since passed on to the next plane. However, they have left behind a work, that is amazingly prescient, especially when seen in the context of the current pandemic and its impact on society. “The future … Continue reading Future Shocked

Harold Robbins

I was counting sheep jumping over a fence, trying hard to get some sleep. After about 40 jumps, I gave up and turned on my iPad to do some reading. I ended up on Dave Winer’s blog. He was talking about Herb Caen columns. I clicked and went to the San Francisco Chronicle website, where … Continue reading Harold Robbins