Books that Help Us Understand the New Digital Landscape.

26 Mar 2013 1:48 PM | Digital Rights Committee (Administrator)

This post is from agent Liza Dawson:

I continually hunger to make sense of our digital business world. Two books have absolutely thrilled me: Clayton Christensen’s THE INNOVATOR’S DILEMMA: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail and Timothy Wu’s THE MASTER SWITCH: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Both books offer a big-picture view of the intertwined history of content, technology and corporations. They explain how development of the telephone, television, radio, film and computer industries were each blasted open by surprise technological advances. In all cases, the disruptive tech advance led to a long period of openness. But then, inevitably, in comes the aggressive new guy in town: Bell Telephone or RCA, for instance. The little guys are muscled aside and the pool of players contracts.

Christensen and Wu cover the history, but more than that they provide a detailed road map of this Wild Wild West e-world we are living in. And that’s what they can do for us — look back at what happened in other industries so that we can figure out what’s going to happen in ours.

Almost every week I meet with another smart, ambitious publishing innovator. And each time I scribble down my notes, I’m really thinking: Could I be sitting with one of those crazed, brilliant, driven, slightly vicious oddballs whom everyone dismisses…but who is creating the future and not just trying to make sense of it?

I’m going to direct you to Christensen and Wu’s websites rather than linking you to a half dozen innovative retailers, because everyone needs to make his own decision about where and how to acquire content:

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