The Wall St. Journal reports today that Borders is preparing to file for bankruptcy continuing the trend to a digital world. This is a sad trend because most folks enjoy going to a book store, interacting socially, physically looking at hard copy books and pictures, but many of these people are buying on-line.
These trends are pushing us to a unconnected world where too many people are connecting on-line and through mobile devices and we need places like book stores to connect with others. I remain a believer in hard copy publications, especially with photography, but I am not sure where traditional print books, papers and magazines are going with the popularity of eReaders.
The WSJ reports of Borders before they got big – “What made them special was that they were a smaller family-run business,” says Neil Van Uum, CEO of Joseph-Beth Booksellers Inc. “Smaller companies are closer to their customers than big companies.”
I believe this trend creates an opportunity for smaller businesses to serve these customers with possibly a new model that includes digital media, print, coffee and social interaction. Borders is a case of a company that became big, took on a large amount of debt and lost touch with their customers.
They also did not adapt to change and innovate early back in 2001 with the emergence of Amazon. I see some great opportunities for small business start-ups to serve these customers. Please listen to my archived interview with Wyatt Emmerich, owner of Emmerich Newspapers for more insight into this trend. John H. Martin