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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Innovate Me

I was recently interviewed by Morgan Cowie of BookNet Canada for the BookNet Canada TV series of interviews with industry innovators. The video was posted today.

For the introduction to their videos, BNC states:

The book industry is at a stage of rapid evolution and here at BNC, we're intrigued by the innovators who are finding ways to take challenges and turn them into opportunities. We want to know what shapes their decisions, what they think is most important now and where they see the industry headed.

Because we didn't think we would be the only ones interested, we've created BNC TV - Interviews with Industry Innovators. Thanks to the expertise of Mark Bertils, our BNC TV producer, we'll be sharing short conversations with fascinating thinkers and doers.

I'm flattered to be considered an innovator -- all it feels like I'm doing is paying attention to some trends and technologies that booksellers could and should be taking advantage of and doing my best to dip my toes into the water. (Okay, in some cases, I'm doing a cannon-ball right into the deep end and yelling "Cowabunga!") But I'm really fortunate that my boss and so many of my colleagues at campus stores across Canada are supportive of change and open minded enough to try things that are a little different than the way it has always been done. It's when we open our eyes and our minds that we'll find new solutions.

In any case, here is the video interview in which Morgan Cowie asks me about the following topics: 1) The Espresso Book Machine 2) Past Innovation 3) A Hero or Mentor in the Industry 4) The Future.

And just in case it doesn't come through in the video, I hope it's obvious that I'm proud of the ability of my bookstore (Titles Bookstore McMaster University) to work with publishers to bring more content to more readers quickly as well as provide a cost-effective way of saving students money on their required textbooks.

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Oh, and since most everything reminds me of some sort of lyrics (often Rush lyrics since Neil Peart is so well read and inspirational), the title for this blog post was derived by the Rush song "Animate" -- when I was remembering the lyrics, I seemed to have substituted "innovate me" in there somewhere . . . upon double-checking, I see I was mistaken. Oh well, it's still a great song.

Polarize me, sensitize me
Criticize me, civilize me
Compensate me, animate me
Complicate me, elevate me
- Rush, Animate from Counterparts (Lyrics by Neil Peart), 1993



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