Nook Media’s William Lynch Should Resign

February 28, 2013: Brave Talk From Nook Media’s William Lynch

March 28, 2012: Barnes & Noble Stores Offer Educators Special Discounts During Educator Appreciation Days

A month ago William Lynch stated that Nook Media would not “continue doing what we’re doing.”

He also stated that multi-function tablets were kicking the Nook’s ass and that the Nook would have to “offer functionality differently.”

A month later all we have is a failing Armageddon Sale of the Nook HD+ and the announcement of even more discounts coming up.

Does William Lynch ever intend to have Nook Media make money?

How does offering a sale on two things people don’t want bolster the image of Nook Media?

How does discount after discount make money for Nook Media?

Where is there any sign of any strategy here that would save the Nook hardware business?

A month in Tech Time is enough for things to change dramatically.

Yet William Lynch apparently works on a different time scale.

Does he think people are waiting on the sidelines to buy Nooks if he can just work out the “right” formula?

None of the Nooks are like the HP TouchPad. The TouchPad could actually do things. People could also make it run Android. All of these things were well-known when HP dumped the TouchPad.

What people know about the Nooks is that they’re tied to Barnes & Noble. There are very few apps — and you must buy them through Barnes & Noble. And rooting them is more difficult than getting Android up and running on an HP TouchPad.

The amount of friction against people buying Nook hardware is quite epic.

So where is the removal of that friction? Where is the change of direction that will enhance the value of the Nook? Where are the reasons for buying a Nook?

Cue the sound of crickets. Hitler made more noise holed up in his bunker.

When Microsoft was caught short by the rise of the Internet, they reacted. They were very public about the moves they were going to make to change things and catch up. They went from being seen as a loser to a company that had a clue and was determined to win. They restored confidence in the Microsoft brand.

William Lynch uttered two wan phrases a month ago and there’s been nothing but discount and discount. If you’re not going to put up, then just shut up.

The only emotions people now feel towards the Nook are these: Sorrow and regret. They feel sorry that Barnes & Noble is clearly losing. And they regret having bought hardware at the end of last year that they could have gotten cheaper or even free today.

Once your company is perceived as a loser, it’s almost impossible to recover.

William Lynch has made Nook Media look like a loser in the space of a month.

He has now cost his own company more sales than even competitors. And I’m not even counting January and February, when he already knew how surprisingly bad things really were. If we count those, he had two months to formulate a plan to restore the Nook.

Nook Media cannot afford another month of this non-leadership.

William Lynch should resign.


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