Kobo's Tamblyn: 'Industry Has Adapted & Evolved'
"Kobo was born to disrupt. More than that, it was an exercise in intentional self-disruption.... When we first started to get some traction, there was a fairly strong narrative that e-books, apps, e-readers, and self-publishing were part of a digital wave that was going to wash away bookstores and publishers. And it's not the first time that warning has been given. Ten years before that, e-commerce was supposed to do the same thing. And before that, big box retail.
"Except that, miraculously enough, it turns out that in each case what looks like a disruptor may be something else--a spark or a catalyst. We always believed that this was a revolution that could happen with authors and publishers and retailers, rather than a revolution that happened to them. And we were right. This industry has adapted and evolved, and unlike music or movies has done so without catastrophe. Bookstores doubled down on community and service and attractive physical spaces. Publishers made paper books more beautiful and collectible while developing digital skills of their own. Indigo took the dividends from the sale of Kobo to reshape itself as a cultural department store with books surrounded by lifestyle merchandise for adults and children (and a few shelves for Kobo as well!). And we keep innovating..."