The theme of the 2015 AAP/PSP Annual Conference, #psp2015, was a focus on the current reality of publishing after a generation of disruption. First and foremost was the acknowledgement that disruption, disintermediation, and a basic lack of rules is the new normal.
Don Tapscott, keynote speaker and author of a number of books including his 2015 update of The Digital Economy, provided a compelling and wide-ranging discussion on the influences and impact of our networked digital environment. Tapscott shared a riveting vignette produced by bestreviews.com to illustrate the real life impact of digital – a short video titled The Evolution of the Desk: bestreviews.com/top-office-chairs#transformation-of-the-office. Clearly, we have accepted if not embraced change, but it is nonetheless relentless in its advance.
As the traditional publishing puzzle pieces scatter, exciting opportunities emerge for new ideas in content creation, processing, and delivery. A number of publishers, investors, and entrepreneurs delivered stories of business opportunities leveraged on assimilating content, tools, and services into comprehensive products to meet consumer requirements for speed, format, platform, and use case application. Yet, with disruption and change comes not only opportunity, but the inevitability of the demise of outdated processes, business models, and even industries.
Reassuringly, one fundamental that hasn’t changed is the absolute critical need for high quality peer reviewed content. As a member of the STM publishing community, I was heartened to hear that truth asserted. In managing this new world, Don Tapscott reminded us that that future is not something to be predicted but to be achieved.