Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, presented a “solo conversation” this morning at the Digital Book World conference, and in this conversation with attendees told us that everything we know about digital publishing is only the very beginning of what ebooks will look like, even in the very near future. Comparing books to the Google self-driving car in terms of taking itself automated and mobile, O’Reilly made the point that we are completely rethinking the information within a book across device consumption.
“Uber is a $3.5 billion dollar lesson in building for how the world should work instead of optimizing for how the world does work.”–Aaron Levie
O’Reilly made another comparison to Uber, a car service location app, and more importantly, the lessons it can teach the digital publishing industry:
- Do less
- Build on existing platforms
- Build “software above the level of a single device”
- Users are not part of the service
- Harness network effects in data
- Rethink workflows and experiences
- Create more value than you capture
But can publishers actually do these things? O’Reilly says yes, with possibly the most valuable of these pieces of advice for publishers is to create more value than you capture.
“There’s an awful lot of talk in this industry of how we’re going to survive this transition. The question needs to be instead, ‘How are we going to be of use?’ Don’t think of how you’re going to survive.”