Theodore published his first book in print and electronic form - but the world wasn't ready. People did not want to read books on a big, clunky PC. Distribution was also tricky. So, he moved into application development. He also developed a web page to support teaching of Calculus, Calculus and Mathematica, but found it had minimal impact on classroom teaching.
Described how he was sidetracked by reading a book by Oliver Sachs where he talked about a periodic table and Theodore thought he meant an actual table... so he built one! He migrated the physical table to the web but realised that websites don't make money so he developed the site into a print book.
- Software developers
- Media (TV/film) producers
"In the very near future, no one will pay for textbooks". Textbooks have priced themselves out of the market - "it is cheaper to buy an iPad than a semester's worth of textbooks. In general professors would be happy to provide learning material for free but don't know how to get them printed - so publishers step into the middle of the process and hike the cost. Theodore thinks therefore that people will not pay for textbooks but will pay for enrichment material.
Presentation finished with a Japanese version of Tom Lehrer's Elements Song. Brilliant!
Q: How do you lend people an electronic book?
The days of textbooks are numbered but not print books in general. You can't gift wrap a gift code! But the model works for ephemeral things: "If you don't have a parrot, there is no point in subscribing to a print newspaper."