Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Christophe Maire, CEO of txtr

Before meeting Christophe Maire at the NextBerlin conference I was hearing many good things about him.  As the CEO of txtr, I heard txtr was doing cool stuff, that Maire was full of good ideas and best of all that Maire could be counted on in the Berlin start-up community to help others and was working hard to make Berlin a great place to start companies.  Nice to have your reputation precede you in such a way, in such a town.

We talked about most of the big digital publishing issues of the day:

--Most important issues to solve in e-publishing: discovery and curation

-- Next big thing in reading digital books according to him:  It is essential to simplify the reading experience. (This is not a commonly held opinion, as many people are racing to embed more graphics, audio, video in ebooks.  I was glad to hear his contrarian view.)

--Is reading an immersive experience for young readers the way it is for older readers, who have adopted e-readers more aggressively than teens and 20's?  (See "Generations & Gadgets" infographic here.)  He couldn't say, but pointed me to interesting ventures like Machinima, where the words "machine" and "cinema" give you a clue to their gaming/editorial concept.  Machinima is targeted to that 18-35 male demographic, who seem to give their attention to gaming, YouTube and all things video, before reading.

--The big question:  We talked about digital textbooks and where that was headed.  Again, Maire said this will be very interesting to watch as it plays itself out.  Certainly, one advantage of digital textbooks is the ability to use small, light slices of texts, instead of having to drag around heavy, often out-of-date paper textbooks.  How tablets develop will be crucial to e-textbook adoption.

Picture Credit: LinkedIn