Category Archives: Publishing

The Long View ebooks

You can download a collection of my columns, conveniently formatted as a kindle ebook, at Amazon.


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City A.M. is continuing to innovate to bring you business news with personality

Who would have thought newspapers worth reading could be free? Yet today they are firmly established as a prominent feature in London’s media landscape. In less than ten years, City A.M. itself has become an essential part of the morning commute for London’s discerning professionals, with more than 100,000 copies ready for you every weekday. Continue reading

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Three reads for Christmas: Glamour, Cicero’s web and high-tech fiction

I wrote at the end of November that the rise of the selfie marked the death of the audience and the rise of an age committed to universal self-expression and performance. This week, even world leaders have been joining in. Continue reading

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Selfie-nomics: The world’s now a stage and we’re all performing

My smartphone has a feature I can’t ever imagine using – it promises to insert my live picture into any snapshot I take by turning on both front and rearfacing cameras at once. But I’m clearly behind the times. Even as I cling to my old-fashioned desire to take photographs of the things that I see, “selfie” – the new nickname for a photographic self-portrait – has been declared Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, following a 17,000 per cent increase in usage year-on-year. Continue reading


Filed under Economics, History, Human nature, Innovation, Publishing, Technology

JK Rowling’s pseudonymous success is a triumph for democratic publishing

I don’t know why I’m bothering to write this. It’s not like Marc Sidwell is a pseudonym for JK Rowling. Few will have missed the recent overnight journey of Rowling’s pseudonymous crime book The Cuckoo’s Calling from bargain bin to the top of the bestseller lists once she was revealed as the author. Apparently not a cunningly timed publicity stunt but a genuine scoop, the story has been read by many as a fairytale gone wrong: a sign that only celebrity can succeed in the modern publishing world. Continue reading

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It’s now left to Shakespeare to remind us of the depths we are capable of

IT’S POSSIBLE we are to be denied a free press thanks to a backroom deal made in Westminster. But when our right to know what is happening right now is being curtailed, we can at least turn to timeless things for comfort. I attended a thrilling production of Romeo and Juliet last night – but not one primarily for anyone reading this paper. It is instead part of a Deutsche Bank-sponsored initiative at Shakespeare’s Globe, designed to introduce a new generation to the bard. Continue reading

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Three technological earthquakes are breaking up businesses for the better

WE LIVE in extraordinary times. Robots are cleaning floors, accompanying soldiers into battle and just starting to drive our cars. Artificial intelligence is turning phones into personal assistants. The internet is connecting more of us than ever, in more ways than ever. For all the economic gloom, remarkable technologies are transforming our lives for the better every day.

Sometimes, the true scale of that change can be hard to process. Here are three examples that help remind me of how familiar business models are being torn up and reimagined. Continue reading

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