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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Change

It is almost a cliché any more to say that we live in a rapidly changing world. Not only is there a constant stream of change in our lives, but the pace of change is accelerating. New ideas lead to new inventions, and new technologies lead to new services every year. In many ways, it is an amazing time to be alive.

In July of 2010, engineer Peter Smith gave a talk in University of Waterloo’s Beyond the Ring Lecture Series, an excerpt of which was recently published in the University of Waterloo Magazine. Smith says,

"I want to take you through some lessons I learned.

The first lesson is, change is good. How many people like change? If you don’t, learn to love it. Because change creates opportunities."


Now that is an interesting concept; learning to love change because it creates opportunities. Most of us can see that change creates opportunities in business, but even there, not every change is good for everyone…or is it? Some may have a thriving business today and be left holding a handful of obsolete buggy whips tomorrow. Consider the current prospects in the book industry, for example. The invention of the electronic reader means you can carry hundreds of titles with you in your hand or backpack, all on one lightweight little device. Those who are quick to see the business opportunity in that will seize the day. Meanwhile, even at this early stage, hard copy publishers are quietly downsizing and already going out of business. Their opportunity must lie in the change somewhere. Will they see it?

But that is just business, what about in the rest of lives? Is change creating opportunities of us? Let me suggest that it is, and give you a few examples.
• The handheld electronic reader already referred to allows you to download and carry great tomes by the likes of Tolstoy or Dickens without feeling the weight at all. (I know some of you are gasping!) Further, you can add your Bible, your text books and study guides, a few dozen novels, biographies, inspirational titles and various and assorted other genres on the same device, all with no extra weight. What’s more, many of those titles are free. If you love words but hate carrying heavy books around, you are so in luck!
• The invention of social media allows you to create community with old and new friends and acquaintances instantly. Your community knows when you are sick and sends you sympathy, and when you are excited they celebrate with you. How good is that?
• The invention of the cell phone means you virtually need never to be out of touch from your family or friends. Stuck in traffic and late for dinner or an appointment? No problem! Just pull over to the side of the road and make that call.

So let me ask you, dear reader, do you love change? What opportunities is change creating for you these days? Your adoring public would like to know!

Posted by Carman

4 comments:

  1. Todays change is how I tried to comment on this post. Let's see if it works this time.

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  2. No I don't like change, but I am working on that.
    I sincerely hope books don't disappear altogether. There is nothing like hold a real book in one's hands. A handheld electronic reader is just not the same.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Steve, Thank you for trying and adding your comments. We always appreciate when we can be in conversation instead of just talking.

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  4. Millions of people would agree with you Anne, and that is probably the hope of the publishing industry. At this point I don't see paper books going away entirely. Too many people love the touch, feel, smell and look of books. But even as I say that, I am certain that when the first "horseless carriages" (cars) were introduced, people would have said the exact same thing about horses.

    The publishing industry will definitely be different in the future. I suspect that within 20 years,and probably less, paper books will become more of an artistic expression (shorter print runs and more expensive) while mass market titles and text books will be available in electronic form only. I have some hope that libraries will thrive, and children's books will probably continue at least in some form.

    Chapters/Indigo stores are already devoting more and more space to non-book items (toys, blankets, knick knacks), and in the States there is already talk of Barnes and Noble and Borders merging. Difficult days are ahead for the retail book sector I'm afraid.

    In a related story, this morning's news carried a report that US video rental giant Blockbuster's sales fell by 1/3 in one year between 2009 and 2010! The company is now in bankruptcy protection. The company is trying to restructure, but I don't see how they can survive. They didn't change fast enough, and the opportunity was seized by others.

    ReplyDelete