AEM 437 Assignment 4 Overdrive_Essay

AEM 437 Assignment 4 Overdrive_Essay - AEM 437 Innovation...

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AEM 437: Innovation Strategy, Professor Leiponen 04/03/08 Assignment 4: Final Project Introduction Overdrive, Inc. Industry History The eBook industry is closely tied with the age of computers and digital information, continuing to grow as technology improves. The initial concept of the eBook is attributed to Michael Hart in 1971. Given access to a computer, Hart decided that value in this new technology would come from data storage and retrieval systems. Using his computer time, he created what is considered to be the first eBook, a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Hart began Project Gutenberg, whose mission is “to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.” 1 Given that the eBook industry relies heavily on the abilities of computers and their software, companies such as Adobe have influenced and partnered with eBook publishers. As one of the initial eBook formats, Adobe’s PDF is still commonly used for the creation and viewing of eBooks. Adobe maintains that the PDF is best for preserving the original creator’s intended image and stresses the fact that 150 million copies of Adobe Acrobat Reader are on personal computers, establishing a large potential reader-base for eBooks. 2 The industry has not yet faced the selection stage for a single standardized format. Audio books stemmed from the 1931 passing of the Pratt-Smoot Act during the Hoover administration that enabled provision of books to the blind. A program called Books for the Adult Blind was created, which initially focused on BrailleBooks but led to Congress’s aid of $10,000 to purchase the first generation of books on phonograph. 3 Since then, several 1 Project Gutenberg website. <www.gutenberg.org> Viewed on April 1, 2008. 2 Adobe website. <http://www.adobe.com/epaper/eBooks/freeBooks.html> Viewed on April 1, 2008. 3 Caulton, Jane. “NLS at 75.” The Library of Congress website. <http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0611/nls.html> Viewed on April 1, 2008.
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generations of audio books have been in production, riding on evolving music technology of cassette tapes, CDS, and now mp3s. The market for each of the eBooks and audio books for consumer use has changed over time. EBooks were initially targeted toward niche markets for the sharing of data over common networks, but began to include literature for libraries and personal computers early on. Audio books began as a tool for blind people and at first only spread to education as a medium for textbooks. As music formats became more suited to personal use, so did audio books. People were able to listen to books while doing other tasks that would normally prevent reading, such as driving. In the information age, the industries of eBooks and audio books are taking shape and growing as a whole through different markets, to the same end users. Numerous companies are competing to secure pieces of the industry in hopes of capitalizing through its maturing process. Business Model
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This essay was uploaded on 02/19/2009 for the course AEM 4370 taught by Professor Leiponen,a. during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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AEM 437 Assignment 4 Overdrive_Essay - AEM 437 Innovation...

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