Things Publishers Fear: #2 ~ Google

The second part of my series about modern publishing over at

The database brings the reality of competition with EVERY SINGLE BOOK EVER PUBLISHED into sharp focus for publishers as new books face increased real challenges from books published 10, 20, 300 years ago and in every conceivable context, on a phone, laptop, desk computer, iPad, iPod, wi-fi enable device, anything that connects to the cloud and has a screen (not to mention an increase in POD).

Technology moves rapdily (even now)

Eoin purcell

Sometimes silly ideas catch my eye
For a very short while I was enamoured by the idea that our 50 years was moving slower in a technology sense than previous blocks of 50 years. For a while I agreed with the concept thoughtlessly and then I realised it was hokum.

Change never happens in exactly the same way and often the most incredible changes of the past block of years are things we rarely account for. And even allowing for that sometimes we take enormous change and see it as mundane because we lack the right perspective. Rob over at snowbooks posts today on the very point:

The CRAY-1A had a 12.5-nanosecond clock, 64 vector registers, and 1 million 64-bit words of high-speed memory.” All very impressive I’m sure, but my current mobile phone could give it a very serious run for its money – and probably beat it for many types of calculation.

Well worth reading.

I’d also advise reading The Shock of the Old by David Edgerton which although it doesn’t make the same point I’m making is nonetheless an excellent perspective on innovation and technological advances. You can buy that here*.

Rob’s got me thinking

*Non affliated so I don’t make any money!