If Toffler Had Lived, He Would Have Written About the Fourth Wave
After the announcement came last week that author and futurist Alvin Toffler had died, I immediately thought about another expert I knew during my years teaching at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Peter Drucker held many conferences for top management at Caltech’s Industrial Relations Center, and I knew him personally. He told me to read Toffler’s book because it gave an excellent insight into what was happening in the world of technological change. Drucker, of course, was the genius management thinker who coined the term “knowledge worker” and was very adamant about society’s need to change quickly to meet the new demands of technological progress.
In his landmark book, Future Shock, Mr. Toffler startled the world by showing how the “new literacy” would be defined by how well a human can learn, unlearn and relearn a variety of skills. This was certainly required in a new culture that used digital technology. Unless we can keep up with the constant changes, businesses and individuals will fall by the wayside, never to be heard from again.
I believe the next or “Fourth Wave” of technology will be turning manufacturing and publishing over to the individual. Just imagine creating a product in your home, getting it “printed” by computer printer, and having your customers pay you directly online or through their mobile devices. Or, as in the publishing game (my business), imagine the individual creating his or her own publication that can be instantly marketed, sold, and read by mobile subscribers that can be constantly updated as to your next big project or book right through their mobile device.
In other words, the Fourth Wave of technology is creating the liberated business person, who can go it alone, and reap most of the profits alone. Certainly, the big conglomerates will be screaming holy hell, but what the hell? The technology is already in place, and it will only take the “newly intelligent” to take advantage of this development. It’s already happening, by the way. Self-employed businesses are the fastest growing industries in the world.
For example, here’s my pitch to a person who has an inspiration story he wanted to publish to brick-and-mortar bookstores. You can hear how I explained to him that because of the changes in technology his best bet would be to publish and market via mobile device:
Thanks for your inquiry about publishing options at EMRE Publishing.
We are somewhat of an unconventional publisher, in that we turn the money-making options over to the author to reap the greatest profits from his/her title. As you may or may not be aware, the publishing industry is changing drastically. Self-publishers, like yourself, have been able to achieve brisk sales through outfits like Lulu and Smashwords. However, we take your publishing abilities one step further by allowing you to sell directly to your audience and establish a following that will brand you on their mobile devices as an inspirational author.
Social marketing is the new method of marketing that we use, and with our Embellisher (TM) Mobile Publishing and Marketing platform, you’ll be able to sell your title(s) in more formats (print, conventional eBook, and ePub3 multimedia). I believe it would be to your best profit-making benefit to leverage all the print possibilities and market these through a single platform. Why? Well, you collect 97% of the list price, and it goes directly into your bank account. We use the Stripe purchase system that’s built right into our platform. With Lulu, they probably took a slice of your percentage (usually around 30%).
In addition, you don’t have control over the users who inquire about your book(s). In our Embellisher (TM) platform, you control the complete back-end or Admin side of things, which means you determine the price, you decide when and how you want to market, and you gain followers that can be marketed to again and again for any future titles (or online educational courses) you may have. Our direct social marketing method is the safest way for you to sell your books (especially your eBooks) because of the over three billion dollars a year that publishers are losing to eBook piracy.
As a former Caltech professor, and author, I wanted to be able to sell directly to my readers without getting ripped-off by pirates. That’s how and why the Embellisher (TM) platform was born. Frankly, getting your book into brick-and-mortar stores is a political process these days. You need to be with a publisher who’s willing to pay a lot of money just to get your book on the shelf, and to get it featured means you have to pay even more. Why not collect your profits directly from your reader and keep them with you for life? Especially with a heart-warming story like you have, people will want to have an app they can install that features you, and whenever they want to see what you’re up to, they just have to click on your app on their desktop in whichever mobile device they happen to have at hand.
Dr. Drucker and Alvin Toffler would be very gratified to see how technology is continuing to cause “tidal waves of change” in the business community. We hope you can ride that wave to both profit and better communications.