My Daddy Killed the Bookstore. And Now he’s Killing the Book: Disruption and Responsibility

When she was about 5 years old my daughter was asked “What’s your father do?” to which she replied, “My Daddy kills bookstores”.

While perhaps overstating my role, I indeed did launch in 1992 with a couple of modems and a database of 2 million books.

Last May I launched Sideways and the new family storyline is that now I’m murdering the book. But in this chapter…, in this room…, there are lots of other suspects.

The other element that’s different this time is the deep long term cultural impact. While, yes we can all lament the passing of the neighborhood bookstore or even the regional megastore, that societal impact pales when compared to the impact that will be felt as we re-invent the book itself.

About Charles Stack

In 1992 Charles was the first to conduct retail transactions on the Internet with (later acquired by Barnes & Noble). This was four years ahead of In 1998 he developed the concept of Web services with Flashline (later acquired by BEA/Oracle) which became the core web services component for Oracle.

He is also inventor of patents that cover some of our most core online behaviors, including “people who bought this, also bought”, Real Time price compare and online testing. He also has patents pending for ‘Buddy Reading’ and other inventions based on the Sideways M3 publishing platform.

In the past, Charles has appeared on panels with Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Leonard Riggio (Barnes and Noble). He has been a frequent panelist and speaker at Enterprise Architecture Conferences, Digital Hollywood, Digital Publishing Summit, numerous venture capital conferences, and was selected Best Presentation at BEA World, among 400 speakers.

This Ignite presentation is an effort to outline the potential societal effects resulting from the nearly overnight transition from print to digital, and most importantly to prescribe some actions to minimize the harm and maximize the benefits of this change.

  • Ingram Content Group
  • Qualcomm
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • Aptara
  • Bowker
  • Connotate
  • HP
  • Jouve North America
  • LibreDigital
  • Malloy
  • MarkLogic
  • Random House, Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Sterling Commerce
  • Baker & Taylor
  • The BookMasters Group
  • Constellation
  • Jacquette Consulting
  • Mashery
  • Silverchair
  • Wolfram
  • Smashwords, Inc.

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