Kindle Keeps the Book Industry Moving with the Trends

October 2nd, 2011 by Rich Christiansen


One of the key elements in a business is recognizing trends and then knowing how to ride the wave to help your business succeed. Indeed, many businesses fail because they do not adapt quickly or intelligently enough to the changes in an industry. Zigzagging helps keep you take advantage of trends. It also helps you learn to recognize when to jump on a trend and let it take your business to new and exciting places. The book industry has learned to ride the technology wave and adapt like few others have.

Though books have been around for centuries, the advancement of consumer technology posed both a threat and opportunity to the industry. Instead of insisting that people would prefer to hold physical copies of books, Amazon in particular (one of the largest book retailers in the world) jumped on the wave with the Kindle in 2007. And now Amazon sells more ebooks via the Kindle than it does paperbacks on its original website!

What would have happened if Amazon kept driving to its goal of selling books as defined by a limited view of what makes a book? It would still be fighting an ongoing trend that has impacted the world, especially with the advent of the iPad. Instead, Amazon is not only able to keep selling Kindles, but it sells ebooks through Kindle apps on iPads, iPhones, Androids and other competitors.

This continual drive to ebook profitability has enabled Amazon to try something new with the Kindle Fire. Though I prefer my iPad, the Kindle Fire tries something new for tablets by being both comparatively very inexpensive and focused.

Only time will tell how successful this new zigzag will be for Amazon, but think of how you can use the trends in your industry to boost your own business. Then, before that trend dies away, make sure you find another trend to harness, like the Kindle jumping onto the tablet trend. By making strategic, intelligent zigs and zags, you can dance among the trends to keep your business thriving. 





C Is For Cookie! – Zig Zag Principle #43

October 1st, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Other Resources to Add

Your organization will need resources other than more people.  Resources can include more capital or a new piece of equipment that will simplify your processes.  For example, if I were to create a cookie company, once I made enough money selling my first batches of cookies, I would consider using that money to purchase a machine that kneads the dough and then another one that cuts the cookies—after looking carefully at their cost and the potential return on my investment. 

Outsourcing is another way to add resources.  I started a company a year ago with my son.  My son created a website, and we then outsourced the building of five or six more websites.  We gave the developer our website template and told her exactly how we wanted our sites to be built.  Then we focused on other more lucrative parts of the venture.  One good thing about outsourcing is that you don’t have to worry as much about the value system.  The high production or the end result is what matters when you outsource.  The key to outsourcing is that you only want to outsource those things that can be thrown over the wall to someone who can do them independently.  Do not try to outsource those things that require your full involvement.  For example, I would not want to outsource my company’s financial books.  There are so many moving parts in my books that my executive assistant and I must go through them daily.  I want to know when bills go out, when we will be paid, and when our bills are due. 

One time I tried to outsource one of my companies’ bookkeeping to someone I knew in town.  It ended up being a nightmare because I was no longer able to know at a moment’s notice exactly where I stood financially.  On the other hand, I do outsource my payroll.  We send the payroll agency the hours each of my employees work, and they take care of all the required forms and paperwork.  I also outsource my taxes to my accountant.  We just send him a copy of our QuickBooks and the year-end papers, and he can take care of our taxes without taking any of my time.