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Moonshots vs infrastructure
2016-03-29 11:03:04

In this episode we cover a schism in digital media that traditional publishing has unwittingly played into.

  • Baldur explains what it is that makes people the most angry at him.
  • Moonshots versus Infrastructure.
  • Digital media Reaganomics
  • Brute force effort versus building automation
  • Baldur agrees with a Nazi (von Braun).
  • Changes require infrastructure. Trickle-down economics don't build roads.
  • Without open source and open standards we'd still be stuck in the CD-ROM model.
  • Paradigm clashes are messy.
  • Touchpress. Editions at Play. Creative people doing clever things.
  • Reviewing the story, not the innovation.
  • On not releasing the APIs. Preventing people from copying or building on Edition at Play.
  • The danger of building one-off infrastructure replacements. Disposable scaffolding versus roads and waterworks.
  • Praise for Inkle.
  • Praise for FailBetter/FundBetter.
  • Hybrid models are possible if infrastructure is the end goal.
  • Baldur's problem with Readium.
  • What does this dichotomy mean for publishers?
  • What is a publisher in print? What is a publisher in digital?
  • End-to-end integration is very hard to pull off in digital. Choose a focus: author or audiences.
  • Audience aggregators versus production aggregators.
  • Publishers act as if authors were completely fungible. Foundation labour in publishing is brittle.
  • Using Unbound as a case study: a social capital converter.
  • Trade publishers don't have that clarity yet.
  • The two potential models.
  • Authors, unfortunately, need social capital.
  • The obligatory Craig Mod reference.
  • Create a clear value proposition for either the author or the audience.
  • Patreon as premium LiveJournal communities. Why it is big and getting bigger. Baldur forgot Erika Moen's name despite reading her work for over a decade.
  • Patreon as a pure audience aggregator that's agnostic about the content format. Disconnecting the business model from the production model results in creative freedom.
  • Bolting book retail model on web artefacts.
  • Subscription requires a clear and concrete value proposition.
  • How do you get to the point where you're covering your costs?
  • Patreon only works if you do like Dave Sim did with Cerebus: deliver on your promises, consistently and reliably. (All of Dave Sim's other weirdnesses are decidedly optional.)
  • The 'Print is Great' worldview hinders all digital efforts.
  • How Baldur could fund the purchase of the cheapest iPad Mini.
  • 'Toxic' is relative.
  • Amazon's asymmetric bet with the Kindle.
  • Print is viable in the long term, just not interesting to Baldur.

Warning! Contains ums, aws, and wobbly arguments.