My daughter flips through one of her presents: a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit.
This time, I’m a couch.
And yes, I’m wearing lounge pants. I work at home and it’s a Friday – so what?
Abby has a library book, Joshua has his LEGO magazine for this month, and I’m sitting here reading my iPad.
At least we’re pathetic together as a family.
William L. McKnight, chairman of 3M, in 1948(!):
As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way.
Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs.
Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it’s essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.
Last week’s read was William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, which I heartily recommend as it exposed to me several shortcomings in my own writing processes. This week, I’m reading through Scott Berkun’s The Myths of Innovation, which is a work full of truths that, deep down, everyone knows but finds hard to accept.
The Myths of Innovation led me to track down and watch this YouTube video of a Google Tech Talk from Berkun, which in turn led to my discovery of the above quote.
O’Reilly is publishing a book entitled Best iPhone Apps:
Best iPhone Apps is a reliable guide to the best, most useful, and most entertaining iPhone apps, concisely cataloged and described. This colorful catalog gives you the quick lowdown on each app, with brief tips on how to use it. This is the guide for discriminating downloaders.
Very rarely have I seen an idea for a book that will be as out-of-date as soon as it is published. I like O’Reilly, but this is a weird idea.
This must be for an audience that isn’t me.
Barnes and Noble just opened a digital audiobook store. From Publisher’s Weekly:
Barnes & Noble has taken another step in deepening its role in the digital marketplace, launching its Audiobook MP3 Store on Barnes & Noble.com. The store will feature spokenword audiobook MP3s available for download and transfer to iPods, iPhones, MP3 players and other portable devices. The site is launching with more than 10,000 titles across all genres, priced between $10 and $20 per download.
“As the use of MP3 players, iPods, iPhones and other digital devices continues to increase, it is important for Barnes & Noble to continue to expand our audio selections,” said Tom Burke, executive v-p, E-Commerce Barnes & Noble. Overdrive is managing the distribution of titles through the BN.com site. Later this year, B&N is expected to launch an e-bookstore, following its acquisition earlier this year of Fictionwise.
And it’s all DRM-free.
I wonder what that new e-bookstore is going to look like.
Chris Anderson is the editor-in-chief of Wired.
I don’t expect that to draw you in for a very exciting post. What I do want to share with you is that he believes that the future of commerce and business, especially over the Internet, is in giving things away for free. An article about this very subject was the cover story in Wired about a year ago, and Anderson is writing a book that will be out in July called, simply, Free.
Pay attention to this one, because it’s possibly very revolutionary and is likely to turn some heads. He thinks you should be giving stuff away in order to make money.
He’s not necessarily talking about the Gilette model, either:
Thanks to Gillette, the idea that you can make money by giving something away is no longer radical. But until recently, practically everything “free” was really just the result of what economists would call a cross-subsidy: You’d get one thing free if you bought another, or you’d get a product free only if you paid for a service.
As examples, he mentions that after experimenting with paid content, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are now free to read on the Web (excepting some information in WSJ). At the time of this writing, I can even browse NYT on my iPod touch, using an application they wrote that is also free to download.
I normally avoid memes like the plague, but I’ve seen it pop up three times in my RSS reader since this afternoon, and I’m waiting for a download to complete, so—eh—whatever:
(But I will spare some of you by placing this off the front page.)