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Richard Nash, Vice President of Community and Content of Small Demons
Huge swathes of the discussion about the future of publishing focus on format, product and process—what books will look like, what workflows will look like, what organizational structures will look like. How technology makes all this different.
Much of this is reminiscent of Ted Levitt’s seminal paper on “Marketing Myopia,” where an overemphasis on product narrows future growth opportunities. If format—both the old containers and the new ones—matters less than we think, where do we look for insight? I’ll argue that we can look instead to culture for ways forward.
Drawing on our experience in developing Small Demons, I’ll describe how we pushed ourselves beyond format and focused instead on the obsessions that culture produces. Drawing on a range of practices starting with Cosplay, I’ll argue that the journey to the future of the book leads right back to the story itself, rather than than look to the services for understanding as to where story might be going, look instead to culture for insights as to where devices might be going.