Publishing needs to be disrupted. I don’t think that anyone is going to argue with me about that. Come to think about it – the world needs to be disrupted. It is being disrupted right now.

This is probably the most powerful cover of a New York Times I have seen in a long time. Corruption in publishing – and not just a small publishing house – but by multiple companies owned by the man who represents media: Rupert Murdoch. Two stories on the cover! Using the same picture! NYTimes needs some better page layout staff.

And then we have Border’s liquidation. Print books are soon to become vinyl.  DISRUPTION NEEDED.

And let’s not forget about the US deficit: UNREAL. Can we get real here? Please? DISRUPTION NEEDED. 

And, of course, at the bottom we have an advertisement for free apps. Did you ever think companies would be advertising for free products?

We live in a fascinating time of transformation. I wanted to include a music video to Michael Jackson’s “HiStory feat. Boys II Men” in this post done by a Swedish remixer that covered the most important world events of the 20th century.

This is the message I got when I followed the link from my teaching blog when I used it in the classroom: “This video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including: SME and Sony Pictures Movies & Shows.

Sorry about that.”

The video that I felt best embodied this world’s need for disruption in media and publishing has been taken down by one of the world’s largest media and publishing companies.

Physical music albums have been the same for decades now. Their contents are important, but the experience is boring. Lyrics, credits, thank yous, album art – all in print. Lady Gaga said in a WSJ interview that digital music, mp3s, are “invisible. It’s in space. If anything, I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy, and giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music.” But what makes physical more valuable? That you can touch it? That you get the “extra” content through text and printed visuals? It sure costs a lot more to create. So how can digital music made to be experiential?

Lady Gaga has a good point. Music consumption is now akin to getting a free high – it’s trying to be managed by studios through services like Spotify. Artists Eminem and Adele recently became the first artists ever to exceed 1,000,000 digital copies – no touch needed.

The article reminds elderly 25 years old like myself, “If you ask anyone under the age of 20 how many CDs they have, they might look at you with a blank stare,” he says. “This is completely normal and expected. Every day brings a new service or wrinkle to how people get their entertainment or music….There is more access now than there has ever been in the history of music, but there hasn’t been an ability to price that music.”

Online publisher, Lulu.com, used to sell CDs and DVDs. It no longer does. DVDs have already gone digital through Netflix. So what about CDs?

Storytelling never was linear and static, and tablets allow us to experience stories the way they were supposed to be – dynamically. Except everything you see in the app store is second-rate and not really interactive. Until now: Morris Lessmore by Pixar designer William Joyce is everything an interactive reading experience on the iPad should be. DISRUPTION HAPPENED. 

Like William Joyce, we want to bring disruption. We’re like the ghostbusters. Four dudes in New York with some crazy technology that want to bring some order to a chaotic world even if it requires a bit of craziness to do it. And so that’s what we’re going to do.

So here’s our HQ in NYC – just like the Ghostbusters.

And here’s what we’re going to bust in the publishing world:


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