Editorial by Hervé Essa, Vice President of International Sales, Jouve Group
Fast forward ten years into the future when we are looking back on what was once known as the digital revolution. Will Twitter and Facebook dictate the news? Will Apple launch an iBank? Will Google be able to predict what you’re thinking? The answers to all these questions depend on one word: innovation.
A fearless attitude, a willingness to fail and a bottom-up approach have inspired the world’s best innovations and catapulted today’s most successful companies into their present glory.
When times were bad, Apple took a risk through clever and timely innovation in its products, the iPod, iTunes and iPad, to name a few, allowing them to overtake competitors Dell and Microsoft to become market leader.
Some of Google’s best creations like Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense have come out of its Innovation Time Off initiative, where employees get 20% of their time to work on projects that interest them. Today, Gmail is one of the most popular email platforms.
Twitter’s explosive growth to over 200 million accounts is no stroke of luck — it’s the endless stream of innovations like promoted tweets, trends and tweet-size ads that continue to transform the way we communicate. And as for Facebook, almost every week, the company builds an innovative add-on to its site.
These companies are primed for fostering a culture of innovation and the results are astounding. Their survival in a competitive market place will depend on whether they can continue to create remarkable products and services that will set them apart from the rest.
The publishing industry is no exception. To survive and thrive in these turbulent times, it’s more important now than ever before for publishers and authors to take a leaf out of the book of some of these technology geniuses.
With the world already having spent over an estimated 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites and with the rise of e-books and e-readers, the digital space presents endless opportunities for growth.
HarperCollins led the way over a decade ago as the first major international publisher to bring out the e-book. Nine years later, it broke new ground when it introduced an entirely new digital book format in the States — the V-Book (video-book).
A new generation of publishers are being created through the development of open publishing platforms such as Lulu.com. These platforms are making it easier for anyone from publishers, businesses, authors and educators to publish their books, while challenging the traditional publishing model.
Digital publishing innovations like print on demand, metadata, content enrichment and e-book conversion are just some of the services opening new doors, increasing distribution, boosting sales, cutting costs, and enhancing the reader experience. They are shaping the future of the publishing industry for the better and more publishers should be taking full advantage of these advances to grow their business.
But there is still a long way to go and many more challenges to address including new user-behaviour, content and formats, mobility, security and monetization. So how do you inject a culture of radical innovation into a company to unleash new ideas?
Jouve is taking a lead through the formation of a new department dedicated to creating new business models for the digital economy and developing pioneering technologies. Even though there is always a risk that ideas will fail, innovation is one of the keys to business success. Within the Jouve Group, innovation is at the centre of our evolution as a service provider. The projects initiated by the Innovation Department are primed to represent more than 20% of the turnover of the company within three years.
The digital space will always be a playground of new opportunity, presenting exciting times for publishers as the industry undergoes its biggest change in modern years. Ultimately, those who adapt and embrace the digital age will flourish; others will risk getting left behind.
Jouve’s Steve Paxhia and Jonathan Hevenstone will be speaking at Publishing Perspectives’ Metadata Perspectives conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 13. The title of their speech is “Managing Metadata for Production.” Learn more and sign up here.