A couple of weeks ago in a posting on Tom Peters’ blog (look in March archives for the entry “Refine to Simplicity”, March 10th), Steve Yastrow proposed that customers are:

Anyone whose actions affect your results

In an information creation and management organization, how differently would you treat content providers (authors) if you considered them your customers?  In any organization, how would you treat employees or partners?  They affect your results.

Last week (March 28, 2006), EPS (Electronic Publishing Services, Ltd.) wrote an Insight entitled “Google the Bookseller”.  The article focused on how Google’s digital bookselling models could help bring innovation to digital publishing.

What interested me was seeing that Google became more successful signing up publishers when they changed their tactics.

Steve Sieck of EPS wrote: “But by restricting access to online viewing … denying the ability to save a copy to disk, and stressing publishers’ voluntary participation and ability to set their own end user prices, Google is taking the "partnering” philosophy to heart in a way that was lacking in its peremptory approach to publishers at the launch of its Library Project last year.”

I’m glad to see that Google changed their approach.  If they needed publishing content for this project to be successful, they needed to focus on how to make publishers feel better about participating.    Now I’m not saying that the publisher’ concerns were valid, reasonable, or forward-thinking.  However, for this project –

Publishers’ actions will significantly affect Google’s results!

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