A Toy Story Moment

Nicholas Callaway via Reuters:

I have bet the whole ranch on this. This kind of juncture happens maybe once in a century.

Callaway is referring to the transition from paper books to interactive e-books. The last name should be familiar to anyone who golfs. Nicholas is son of Ely Reeves Callaway, Jr. who started Callaway Golf in 1982. In Mark Egan’s Reuters special report Dumping print, publisher bets the ranch on apps:

Experts say it’s like a Wild West gold rush, perhaps the biggest moment in publishing since Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press in the middle of the 15th Century.

Callaway had his eureka moment when Toy Stoy, the first full-length feature movie created entirely on a computer, was unveiled to much fanfare:

Then in 1995 came the first movie made entirely from computer-generated imagery, “Toy Story,” and Callaway had his “eureka” moment.

Callaway:

I thought, this is a new form of story telling, this is going to change the world. We stopped thinking of books as the sole vehicle for our products and we thought more of core intellectual property that could be executed across many different media.

I’m not sure my eureka moment has come. The Kindle is by far the best reading device for hardcore readers because of the type of display it has: an E Ink, bi-stable display that consumes very little power and is easy on the eyes much like paper. But there are three major limitations: the lack of color, inability to respond quickly and therefore the lack of touch-based interactivity. The TFT LCD on the iPad overcomes all three of E Ink’s limitations, but the LCD isn’t very kind to the eyes. I don’t like reading off of my MacBook Pro even though it has a better LCD than most notebook PCs. But a LCD is a LCD with the backlight on all the time and the eyes become tired after a little while. I don’t have a Kindle, nor do I have an iPad, precisely because both require me to compromise as someone who reads. For me the eureka moment will come when the readability of an E Ink display is combined with the color and touch-based interactivity of a LCD. And that’s when the publishing industry will enter its second massive growth stage where everyone will go out and buy the reader that all books, magazines, and newspapers will be delivered through.