David Houle at DBW: ‘Explosion of Choice’ Gives Power to Readers

By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

The explosion of consumer choice has shifted power to consumers and away from producers, said David Houle, a futurist and author of the book The Shift Age and the keynote speaker at the Digital Book World Conference this morning in New York.

Publishers sitting in the audience, who were asked to put away the daily concerns of digital books to think about the future in a broader way, know this trend all too well. Gone are the days when publishing companies were the sole gatekeepers to a wide book-reading audience.

Driving this trend, according to Houle, is an accelerated electronic connectedness of humanity, meaning that cell phones, the Internet and online social networking have brought humanity closer together and will continue to do so at an accelerated rate in the coming years.

“But how is this technology going to empower people?” asked Houle later in the speech. Publishers in the audience may have been thinking the same thing: How will these trends give more power to readers, and how can the publishing businesses of the future be built around them?

Write to Jeremy Greenfield

One thought on “David Houle at DBW: ‘Explosion of Choice’ Gives Power to Readers

  1. Walter Petticrew

    Having participated in high-tech development for over three decades, I am left with… are publishers and this industry that far behind. As I go to conferences and sit in on CEO keynotes, and the breakout sessions and read articles on the topic, I flashback to the later 1980’s and the mid 1990’s when the topic of digital empowerment of the consumer would dramatically change business models. The real shame I see, are the mistakes so many publishers are making, taking a parallel path that failed and forgotten technology enterprises went down.


    Walter Petticrew
    Generation Glue



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