I was chatting to one of our customers recently and he commented…
The books on the shelves these days feel forgotten and lost. People rarely look upon them if they want to read. And unfortunately, for most people, the only perceived way to get a book is from Amazon.
His name is Denis Stark, a blockchain entrepreneur with a fin-tech background. Denis is the founder of Biblosphere, an app designed to serve reading communities worldwide.
Of course there are some solid environmental arguments for ceasing the publishing of physical books and maintaining the up-curve for digital consumption. However, this is what makes Denis’s business all that more important - Biblosphere provides a convenient way to catalogue the books that exist in colleges, campuses, book reading circles, literature clubs, so they can be shared around communities who love to grab some couch time and pick up their favourite paperback or hard copy.
Biblosphere is a Sharing Economy enterprise bringing together like minded individuals who have a love of literature.
The future of book publishing
According to a New York Times report, from 2008 to 2010 e-book sales skyrocketed, jumping up to 1,260%. However, taking a look at the bigger picture, you may be surprised how many physical books are published as a proportion of sales revenue.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center on book consumption and book formats found that traditional print is still the most popular reading format for both adults and children. Books sales revenue in 2019 totaled $26 billion, of which physical books generated 74.7% of the total and e-books only 7.48%.
So the jury is out and though digital technology has undoubtedly had a profound effect on traditional books publishing, many book lovers still believe that the end of printed books is impossible.
This is where an organisation like Biblosphere can have relevance. Well-made books can last hundreds of years, and even the more cheaply made paperbacks are still readable for decades.
And for many people, paperbacks can be far more useful and more collectible. They are often more diverse in physical format and layout and can stay in circulation for many years - in libraries, cafes and sitting on book shelves in peoples homes.
Creating a commuting around the global library of existing books in the way Biblosphere is doing is a valuable sharing economy model that keeps the literature alive without the need for printing new copies.
It’s all about getting the tech right
It seems ironic that the comparison of physical books to ebooks is a technological comparison of old vs new. Yet to bring Biblosphere to life is very much dependent on well designed technology - in this case an app that leverages blockchain technology.
Communities can join and enjoy easy ways to search and track books. The cloud based app allows users to manage their book catalogues and transactions from any device and any location.
Powered by machine learning the app filters unrelated content, recognises authors and titles to maintain a book catalogue for subscribers. There is also a built-in chat to facilitate community sharing, so subscribers can express their gratitude and give feedback on the books they've read.
Cryptoeconomics - a community centric model
I mentioned at the beginning Denis has a fintech background and this is where Biblosphere gets really interesting. He’s created his own crypto-token on Stellar which he’s using to build the business - covering costs for marketing and team rewards.
Task is being used to track work and distribute the tokens based on the verification of the particular activities.
In a recent podcast Denis commented ‘cash is as toxic for a startup as sugar for a newborn baby’. It’s a controversial statement but he has a point. Of course a startup needs money but too much too soon often creates more risk whereas having less to operate on typically nurtures the entrepreneurial mindset and leads to good decision making and innovation.
But how can a token model be a substitute for startup funding?
Denis has created a token labelled UTB to fund marketing activities as part of a referral program. As people invite other paying subscribers to the app the refer receives tokens. This model is allowing Denis to scale the business without requiring the typical costs that start ups require.
He's also paying his team with the token and it’s valued at a rate higher than employees would be paid in cash, as right now it comes with startup risk - the business could fail but it could also be a huge success.
This has created a motivated workforce who are personally invested in the mission of Biblosphere - a successful business will result in higher valued UTB tokens that his team can cash in on later.
It's an exciting model that's allowing Denis and his team to get a business off the ground and build community without the typical constraints that come with launching a startup. If you're a book lover and would like to speak to Denis about his organisation you can do at this link: CONTACT DENIS.
Do you run a business that would benefit from running a crypto based economic model? If so get in touch today and we'll show you how we can help.