Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

Music is an instrument that energizes the soul,

Boosting and overcoming the emotional core.

Books, too, are instruments to inspire the soul,

A slower path to the knowledge-seeker’s goal.

Music can change your mood.

Books can change your mind.

Music is an immediate satisfying relief;

Books can be a transformative cure.

February 2013. Photo cred: Alice Sholto-Douglas

In early 2013, when I was a second-year college student at NYU, I interviewed the linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky. We discussed student debt and the role of education in a just society. It’s a real honor that my interview from back then is cited alongside his name below:

I helped my little brother set up a lemonade stand back in August. While testing out different techniques for making lemonade, we accidentally broke my juicer. In need of a new juicer, one that would effectively turn sour yellow fruits into a refreshing summer treat, I had to find the product that was right for my particular needs. Lists of ‘best overall juicers’ weren’t much use to me: I was on the hunt for something specific rather than a ‘best-bang-for-your-buck’-type product. I also didn’t want or need a professional kitchen appliance, as that was too much for me. …

D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands, powered by innovations in marketing and technology, have seen great success. By connecting with customers directly and in a meaningful way, some of these brands, such as Dollar Shave Club, have avoided working with retail middlemen entirely.

Retailers, of course, don’t want to be sidelined. They are creeping into the D2C space and are catching up. One way they’re doing this is by on-boarding as many D2C brands as possible in an attempt to show the world that those brands can be successful on their platform. …

Consumer looking for curators

In an ideal world, expert curators help consumers make key decisions, including which products and services to buy, which places to visit, and how to lead a healthy lifestyle. The curators are responsible for researching and documenting a variety of options and for sifting between the reputable, valuable, and worthwhile on the one hand and the costly, inefficient, and untrustworthy on the other. Consumers rely on this data when they make purchasing decisions.

Outside this ideal world, however, the optimal relationship between curator and consumer often breaks down, especially when the consumer is forced to leave a curator’s website and…

Back in 2011, when Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen opined that “software is eating the world,” print publishers probably shook their heads in despair. Print publishing was one of the many traditional industries about to be disrupted by technology. Given this, you’d expect the eBook industry to be booming right now, having devoured print the way online streaming largely replaced DVDs and CDs.

Instead, eBook sales have steadily declined over the last several years with 2017 sales falling to a seven-year low:

Source: Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot Monthly

Amazon claims that their sales are increasing but we haven’t been able to find revenue data that would back…

Edward Radzivilovskiy

Program Associate at Renew Democracy Initiative. Lover of tea & philosophy.

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