Felix Dennis Called The Amazon Kindle 11 Years Ago

Felix Dennis

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The lecture that billionaire publisher Felix Dennis gave to the Confederation of European Paper Industries in Brussels way back in 2000 is worth reading through in its entirety — both for its humour, and its spot-on prescience.The Amazon Kindle is basically a print publisher’s worst nightmare. (Although not really, of course, because over time the big publishers will still exert the most influence — all that changes is that distribution and manufacturing costs go down significantly.)

My favourite excerpt: “Recently I was shown a prototype of a titanium framed e-book that folds away into a side pocket, flips out to the size of a small magazine, weighs only a few ounces, and whose screen is made of what felt to me like space-age fabric. The demonstrator informed me gleefully, that it could hold electronically at least half a dozen books or two or three illustrated magazineʼs worth of material which will take just seconds to download. The type was quite sharp enough to read. No wires were involved. Totally portable; totally reusable; totally depressing.

I stepped out of that demonstration shuddering; not at the million dollars they had already invested in their e-book, but with the feeling that I had been introduced to my own nemesis.”

You could also argue that he predicts the growth of online video and YouTube earlier in the speech.

Read the whole thing here.