Suddenly Starting a Business Has Become Really Cheap

The first time Tony Conrad built a company, in 2005, he raised $3.5 million to create a “contextually relevant content engine” that would serve up content on websites in the way that Google serves up ads.  After three years of hard work, the investment proved worthwhile when Conrad sold Sphere to AOL for $35 million. […]

Ron Paul vs. the Fed — It’s All Part of the Republican Strategy

(MoneyWatch)  Yesterday was Christmas in Washington, at least for Ron Paul, who will become chairman of the House subcommittee that overseas the Federal Reserve. For Paul, the chairmanship is a pulpit for his crusade against the Fed. For his party, it’s a tell about their strategy for the next two years. As political theater, giving Paul oversight of the […]

Why China’s Students Excel and the U.S. Lags Far Behind

(MoneyWatch)  The natural reaction to China’s sudden and stunning emergence as the curve-setting leader in global education is to assume that the region’s scores were achieved through highly regimented drive through rote learning. In a country still dominated by its military and ruled by a closed party, that would seem logical. Naturally, that also fits all of our […]

Why Agents Will Morph Into Electronic Publishers

Once you remove the complexities of distribution from the book equation, an author has to ask herself what she gets from a publisher. After all, publicity is a function of the author’s own fame, talent, or personal story. And publishing is, at its very core, nothing more than publicity plus distribution. In the contemporary book […]

Behind the Times of London Paywall

You could have seen this one coming. Everyone has been rushing to jump on the news that Rupert Murdoch’s paywall experiment in the U.K. has cost theTimes of London a substantial portion of its readers, a full two-thirds. But the Financial Times explains that the paywall hasn’t been as bad as some expected and that much of the traffic […]

Is the Wall Street Journal the Future of News Video?

Why TV news in 2015 could look a lot like the outlet’s video today It’s not hard to mock the Wall Street Journal’s online video operation. The outlet’s daily broadcasts can feel a bit like the A.V. club at a tony school aping the nightly news. That impression isn’t helped by the fact that a host, […]

What’s Stopping Print Content on the iPad?

Venture Capitalist David Pakman, a partner at Venrock, doesn’t understand why legacy media isn’t rushing to get on the iPad. He points out that only six of the top 20 magazines have iPad apps and that most media outlets have been hanging back from embracing the new platform: I think the iPad is actually under-hyped as a device […]

Amazon Touts Kindle Sales, Reveals Little

Here’s a riddle for you: At what point will Amazon(AMZN) have to quit being so coy with its sales figures of Kindle editions and start offering the world real information? Today, newspapers, blogs, and magazines are afire with Amazon’s latest cryptic report. Jeff Bezos says that cutting the price of the Kindle readers has accelerated sales. […]

A Publishing Plum Sours

The latest standoff between big publisher and big author involving Janet Evanovich has provoked a flurry of speculation that Evanovich might publish her next few books directly, presumably using a publishing house as a distributor but not to finance the printing, production, or marketing. In many ways, Evanovich would be an ideal candidate for this […]

Guess What? Students Want E-Readers

The Independent in London makes a lot out of a report by youth-marketing expert Alloy on the purchasing intent among college students: Consumer group Alloy Media + Marketing released a report on July 7 detailing a 13% rise in ‘back to school’ spending by US college students, giving a combined total of $306 billion. According to Alloy […]