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RE: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: RE: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- From: "Bolick, Bob" <Bob_Bolick@mcgraw-hill.com>
- Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 19:15:04 EDT
- Reply-To: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, Eric-- Better check with the MIT Econ crowd on the reality of productivity increases due to technology -- particularly as applied to information creation and processing industries -- in the last 20 years. Not statistically significant. (We just think we're more productive.) Also, the trend on salaries and outsource rates in the last 5-6 years (the immediately applicable period) is not in the direction you suggest -- at least according to the InformationWeek and ComputerWorld surveys. The dotcom bomb still has not driven down the prices as much as you'd think it would. Change the business model? In response to the promise of "Sounds Good Maybe Later" technology? I agree with you on the need to focus on cost reduction, too bad it hasn't shown up yet from that quarter. Market adoption of digital product is still glacial (also applies in spades to the market for repurposed content, that other over-hyped promise from the SGML/XML community), and for most book publishers, it still does not represent a significant enough stream of revenue relative to the inordinate incremental cost. That, in turn, puts an upward pressure on prices, as we saw with the CD debacle in the mid-90s. Nevertheless, we will slog on. It's still fun trying to get it right. BobB -----Original Message----- From: Eric Hellman [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 6:38 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: RE: ALPSP statement on e-publishing. Bob, Considering that the salary you need to pay a top-notch kick-ass sgml-dtd-writing, P3P-overhauling, server maintaining, desktop-publishing-converting professional human being is perhaps half of what it was a year or two ago, I'll put McGraw-Hill down for a 15% cost-efficiency improvement this year;-} But more seriously, you touch on an interesting point which relates to changing business models in the midst of technological change. Also known as the trying-to-turn-a-battleship-on-a-dime problem. But it seems to me that an electronic publishing initiative that takes years to move into the black is an electronic publishing initiative that is not focusing enough on cost reduction. Eric Hellman