Publishers Must Adapt (Or Die)

Suw Charman-Anderson, Forbes Contributor

If there’s one book I’d love to force everyone in the publishing industry — the media and music industries too — to read, it’sAdapt, by Tim Harford. One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in years, Adapt looks at how complex problems can’t be solved by relying on expert opinion, but must be tackled using trial and error. Not just a ‘fling mud at the wall and see what sticks’ kind of trial and error, though, but something smarter, where failure is survivable and success recognisable.

In the journalism world, which is further down the road to destruction than book publishing, we see many examples of organisations that focus solely on radical cost containment as their attempt to balanceteetering books. But when you look for radical innovation in editorial products and business models, well, that’s rare as hen’s teeth. In the music industry, innovation from the major players is largely absent. Instead, it’s theplucky start-ups and tech giants who have spotted new gaps in the market and figured out how to exploit them.

So, whence the book publishing industry? CLICK HERE to read the full story.

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