Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
When anyone starts a business, some premises must be defined. Those are your bets, the ones you believe that will be the framework of your potential success. 24symbols was founded with the belief that mobile devices were going to be the place where reading was going to happen next; and that new business models around subscription were required.
Three years after my partners and I decided to leave everything behind and put all our eggs in one basket, after finding partners who walked along with us, after building it into a platform that provides high quality books to more than 175,000 users, and, of course, after having great and horrible times, usually in the same day, we’re entering into a new, exciting stage by means of an investment and distribution agreement with the leading worldwide mobile content provider, Zed.
What Zed brings to the table is — in addition to monetary resources that are so critical for any start-up that still wants to build a better product — a better service and a better community, a pathway to an area that we longed from the start, but had not enough strength to make it happen. Let me explain.
We believe that an important part of the future of reading and ebooks implies the use of tablets and smartphones, so it is also true for us that mobile operators were an important part of that future as they provide the distribution strength to take the service to the many people who only access premium content through their smartphones and, more specifically, their carriers. With this in mind, having the most important content distributor in the world as an investor provides us with strategy, tactics, know-how, contacts and a sales force that we could only have imagined just a few months ago.
And this is what we believe the new ecosystem will be: Authors writing great books; careful publishers curating those works; aggregators simplifying the publisher’s life; and new business models like ours at 24symbols using the strength of the carriers to put the books to the hands and eyes of the many people who uses smartphones and tablets to read.
Our mantra when we started was to bring books to everyone, everywhere. This deal takes us one step closer but also makes clear how much more work we have to do: take our service and apps to a new level; work with operators and publishers and explain our vision and business model in this new context; grow our community from one to many regions, just to name a few. Even though we are a little bigger, we will need to row much harder and much faster. And we will, as we have always done.