Author Robert Scoble Is Glad That Independent Bookstores Are Closing

'Innovate or die,' says futurist

Author Robert Scoble took the closing of an independent bookstore as a reminder to "Innovate or die." (Photo: Google Commons)

Author Robert Scoble took the closing of an independent bookstore as a reminder to “Innovate or die.” (Photo: Google Commons)

It’s no secret that Amazon has dominated the book and e-book markets, and the site’s lower pricing has angered authors and publishers. Brick and mortar bookstores have also been adversely affected, forced to confront decreased sales as consumers decide to read or download books at home.

But according to Robert Scoble, that’s not a bad thing at all.

The blogger and futurist, who has published several books through Amazon, posted a picture of Half Moon Bay Books, a recently closed California bookstore, on Facebook over the weekend. He admitted that “It is sad to see this business gone. A reminder of the way things used to be.”

But at that point the mourning ended, as Mr. Scoble declared “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This store’s closure was actually a reminder for Mr. Scoble to always find new ways to improve. He claimed it reinforced his blunt motto to “Innovate or die.”

Mr. Scoble ended his screed by telling his followers to “get lazier,” because removing a step from something always pays dividends, and indeed “those who help the lazy thrive!” He crassly concluded his post with a smiley face emoji.

Ironically, many people who commented on the post actually agreed with Mr. Scoble’s harsh words. A couple of commenters thought the author’s tone was “dickish” or “soulless,” but the vast majority agreed with him that this small business had to die so that progress could continue.

The closing of independent bookstores is a sad, necessary byproduct of the rise of e-readers, and celebrating this or using it as an occasion to “get lazier” is in particularly bad taste. While the shuttering of Half Moon Bay Books may square with Mr. Scoble’s mission, shrugging your shoulders and saying “Innovate or die” is just plain heartless.

Author Robert Scoble Is Glad That Independent Bookstores Are Closing