Guy Gonzalez had a post up recently about the Domino Project, which Seth Godin is closing down. Included in the post was a link to a talk by Richard Nash, ruminating about what did and didn’t work at Red Lemonade, Nash’s web startup.
I generally agree with Guy’s take about both projects. Before I throw in my two cents, however, I want to state without reservation that both men deserve credit for putting their time and money where their mouths were. In a world of wall-to-wall pundits and doomsaying snipers with no skin in the game, we need all the people we can get who are willing to step in the arena and risk being humbled. It’s the only way progress will be made. Having said that, I have my own thoughts on what the end of these initiatives means. (Previous posts mentioning Seth Godin here, Richard Nash here.)
Both Godin and Nash garnered a great deal of interest a year ago as a cresting wave of change and doubt swept through the traditional publishing industry. Capitalizing on their celebrity and showmanship, both men looked into the future, saw a way forward, and acted on it. Godin, by partnering with Amazon in a publishing venture; Nash by creating and launching Red Lemonade, the first of an anticipated series of sites under the Cursor brand. Each project, at root, envisioned a new way of publishing content outside the traditional publishing paradigm.
So what can authors learn from their efforts? Well, given that most writers will never publish the work of others, probably not much. Unless you’ve a mind to become a publisher — whatever that elastic term means to you these days — most of what Godin and Nash have been through is probably inessential, however interesting it might otherwise be. Still, I think it’s possible to see connections to authorship in these ventures — if not directly, then indirectly, as confirmation of other truths. [ Read more ]