When the term technology is used our minds fill with visions of computers, wires, and laser beams. Wind the clock back a hundred years, a couple of hundred years, or several hundred years, technology takes on a different sense.
The printing press was a technology frowned upon for many reasons, one of which was the belief that monks would become lazy.
All technological advances. The commonality? They were all feared, shunned, played off as a fad, and touted they would never, ever, not in a million years, replace “x”.
You just have to love us human-types.
Digital photography will never replace film. That statement came from a photography magazine printed in 1994. In all fairness, digital photography has not “replaced” film, but when was the last time you saw a new film camera for sale at your local superstore? As a matter of fact, without doing a search on the web, tell me fast, where would you take that film to get developed?
People will always want to read the morning paper. It will never be replaced by the internet. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of newspapers and magazines that no longer exist because they failed to recognize the oncoming train of technology, and countless more that are struggling to catch up before they too go under.
“X” format will never replace the LP. People long for the hiss and pop of the classic vinyl record. Been to a “Record” store lately? Oh wait, you can just get that online. If you dig deep enough, you can even get a copy of that song with the hiss and pop included.
So, why do we believe electronic books will never, ever, not in a million years, outsell print books?
Already we see signs of that flawed belief. Whatever happened to the “Big Six”? What are we down to? Five? Four? The big publishers sat mired in the mud for years. Now they struggle to catch up with the very technology they downplayed.
When was your most recent trip to Waldenbooks, B Dalton, Borders?
Will the e-book ever completely replace the coveted print version? No. Much like a photograph printed on special paper, the desire will always be present.
Much like a hand-tooled leather belt, the printed photograph, the hardback novel, will become cost-prohibitive for the average customer. They will become novelty items relegated to the collectors and those with disposable income.
It won’t be today. It won’t be tomorrow. It may not even be within a decade, but there will come a time in your children’s life when special orders for printed books will be the norm.
The bookshelf, much like your photo album, will be virtual. So, instead of fighting technology, find a way to make it work to your advantage. After all, technology is coming, and it has been proven over the centuries, its force is greater than any resistance you can provide.
Go ahead, keep saying it’ll never happen. You’ll be one less competitor we have to worry about when it does.
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