Innovation is not a product

Amazon, Books, ebooks, publishing

“The book publishing industry is what happened to innovation in the book publishing industry. It is that simple, and rather than try to push this industry to be less conservative (what Wikert is trying to do), I think that our energies are better spent on looking for innovators changing the industry from the outside.”

A bad ‘n’ biased article about innovation in publishing industry. Besides the fact that it sings praises to Amazon as innovator (probably for taking employee exploitation to levels never imagined by Taylor), it constructs innovation as “new products”, rather than “new ideas”. This is the favored definition by Silicon Valley standards, because it is easy to mask the age of an idea. And it suits their purposes: innovation is a buzzword that sells and can attract capital, by promising new avenues for profit. But new ideas are less ordinary than one might think. The idea for a low-power paper-like display had existed since the 1970s, originally conceived by researchers at Xerox PARC, but had never been realized. Not quite new & recent. And the innovators were MIT professors and students, not upper management echelon at Amazon. As for the “all-you-can-read subscription model”, another Amazon “innovation”, has anybody heard before of libraries?