April 2009: Amazon Buys Lexcycle/Stanza Reader
August 2011: Push Pop Press acquired by Facebook
While no one believed Amazon would buy Lexcycle to kill it, that’s just what happened.
At least the Push Pop team are straightforward:
There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta.
The realities are these:
1) A Push Pop digital book took a lot of work. This capital- and labor- intensiveness is not something conventional print publishing is willing to do. Budgets cannot accommodate it. Unlike movies, there’s no way to expect a huge immediate return on release day.
2) A digital book like that is not something that can done to just anything. It requires a brand new way of thinking. And we’re just not anywhere close to that yet.
3) The Push Pop people could have seen their money burn away in a fruitless endeavor to woo publishers or they could have taken their expertise and given it to someone willing to pay for it.
Facebook was willing to pay.
What’s interesting, though, is why wasn’t Apple?