To each his own is beautiful

One of my favorite bosses—and I’ve never been a fan of bosses—once told me he noticed over the years that if he let all of his subordinates do the tasks they liked to do, then everything got done. I never would have guessed that his strategy could work, but I still trust his observation.

With the technology now available, we’ve begun to see people take up the elements of book publishing that they enjoy most. Because they can.

Some people enjoy writing more than reading. Some get satisfaction from making recommendations. Some like to analyze, discuss, and report. Some are good at teaching, others at designing. (See Chip Kidd’s TED talk for an example.)

Are more people actually involved in these activities than ever before? Or are we simply exposed to more of what they’re doing, because their activities are discoverable online?

Where is the pleasure? In the writing? In the reading? In the sharing? In the discussion?

Why fret about the changes in book publishing that are so disruptive? Destructive transformation is such a loaded expression. Isn’t it all symbiotic if we let it be?

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