BookMachine | Malleable Models: The real effects of the digital revolution on business

BookMachine_logoThis fortnight’s BookMachine article is up! This time, it’s on the effects of the digital revolution on business. Read it over on the Bookmachine blog, or get started right here:

World-famous travel and maps bookshop Stanfords has announced that, alongside books, they will now be offering horse-drawn omnibus tours of London to their customers. While this idea fits well with their brand, it definitely breaks the mould of what we have come to expect from a bookshop. And Stanfords aren’t the only ones employing lateral thinking to revamp their brand: it’s a phenomena happening across the board and it’s results are as exciting as they are intriguing.

Why digital forced us to adapt

The last decade has seen a revolution in the way we use technology. It has become unimaginably mobile, instant, easy and relatively cheap. Smartphones were released in 2000 but the iPhone, which really lit the smart-phone fire in line with the roll-out of 3G internet access, was launched as recently as 29 June 2007. The iPad only followed in 1 April 2010. The first mainstream eReaders, the Sony Reader and Kindle, were only released in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

In conjunction with the growing popularity of online bookstores, these eReaders pushed bricks and mortar bookshops to the front line of the digital revolution and, in order to survive, they had to adapt quickly to a new, much harsher, business environment. From selling coffee, cuddly toys, wrapping paper and even the eReaders themselves, bricks and mortar booksellers are now constantly experimenting with new products and new ways to sell them. Increasingly, they’re looking outside of the lines of books altogether, as Stanfords’ tours indicate.

Publishers also experienced the hit, suddenly competing with any number of the instant-access entertainments which are now available through mobile devices. As a consequence, many of the most successful publishers have found themselves making apps, merchandise and even television shows to survive and succeed in this new environment…[READ MORE]