When Elephants Mate: Thoughts on the Potential Penguin Random House

Why anybody thinks they will produce a gazelle by mating two dinosaurs is beyond me. –Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence For the title of this post, I opted to replace “dinosaur” in Peters’s quote because I don’t believe that either house is extinct or even approaching extinction. Like elephants, they’re just big […]

Can Publishers Scale Verticals?

Several years ago in a very large conference room I heard Mike Shatzkin give his “The End of Trade Publishers” presentation. Despite working for a trade publisher, I thought it was terrific. In my opinion, Mike didn’t get everything right, but he sure was shaking the right trees. He placed great emphasis on consumers and “communities […]

Publisher Strategies and Devastating Opportunity Costs

I was never much of an economics student. In truth, I was pretty bad. I did, however, grasp the idea of opportunity cost. The first sentence of Wikipedia’s definition sums it up wonderfully for me: Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the next best alternative forgone […]