Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks at Tools of Change

March 1, 2011

As regular readers will know, we participated in the Startup Showcase at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing conference a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty overwhelming: we picked up some great information, met a lot of interesting people, renewed old acquaintances, and received tons of positive feedback. Some observations (warning, may include significant randomness):

  • Starting conversations with “We’re an open source college textbook publisher” is a great way to grab people’s attention these days. More on our OER effort coming soon.
  • Said the CEO of another textbook publisher: “I know you…you’re the guys who quit math.” Thanks for reading our blog!
  • The mix of companies at the Startup Showcase was interesting. Some were disruptive, but most were enabling technologies. Overall, it was the right combination for an event such as this one. The audience was fantastic: we were pleased to learn that there were a couple potential authors in the crowd, too.
  • Our favorite bit of advice came from media entrepreneur and investor Linda Holliday, who said “Your mix of free and revenue-generating content is a dance you do with your customers.”
  • If you weren’t able to make the conference and want to check out some of the presentations, here they are. This conference really is the bleeding edge of the industry. We’re smarter just for having been in the building.

Finally, we were presenting opposite the Westminster Dog Show. Fluffy dogs are hard to compete with. As we headed back to Boston, we saw a bunch of them outside of Penn Station…

2 Responses to “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks at Tools of Change

  1. Kat Meyer Says:

    Hi Stephen:
    Thank you so much for the wonderful words about TOC and moreso for the great effort you put forth in participating in the startup showcase. The pub/tech community becomes a stronger and better place every time smart, forward-thinking folks like you guys take the time to share what you’re doing with the rest of us.

    Keep up the good work, and thank you again for joining us at TOC this year.


    Kat Meyer
    Community Mgr/Co-Chair, O’Reilly’s Tools of Change

  2. Kat,

    Thanks so much for having us! We look forward to being back next year to soak up everything.


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