Nook Media Deletes William Lynch

Yes, I’m a day late. No one bothered to at-me on Twitter, so I found out today via A Kindle World blog (the irony, does it burn?).

March 28, 2013: Nook Media’s William Lynch Should Resign

July 8, 2013: Chief Leaves Barnes & Noble After Losses on E-Readers

To use a phrase that may or may not have been used in the Old West: Well now, that’s just yellow of him.

When I called for him to resign, it was back then.

Then he semi-liberated the color Nooks by adding Google Play. That was enough for me not to continue calling for his head — for a while.

Now that things have clearly gotten really bad, he flees?

Yeah, his resignation must have been requested, but still.

I guess no one is interested in slapping a Nook brand over their tablet. I guess being able to sell them in Barnes & Noble stores — the ones that remain, and on life-support — wasn’t enough for anyone to give up their own brand.

Yet Google was able to do that with Asus. So, you know, WTF?

Maybe Microsoft wanted him gone before making an offer for Nook Media? That’s possible too.

Yeah, I called Lynch yellow, but I’m also trying to understand the why. Even though we’re likely to never know.

Anyway, here is the funniest news in this entire affair:

In a statement late Monday, the company said that Michael P. Huseby had been appointed chief executive of the Nook division and president of Barnes & Noble. Mr. Huseby has served as chief financial officer since joining Barnes & Noble in March 2012; previously he held that position at Cablevision Systems, a media company.

Cue my epic laughter.

A bean counter? That’s worse than putting the head of marketing in charge.

What can we look forward to now?

Nothing.

Because a bean counter is in charge. That means it’s all over. It’s being wound down.

So:

There’s been no update to the eInk Nook as previously rumored. I think that’s dead.

I also think Lynch’s assertion that there will be a new eInk Nook is also dead.

There will not be any third-party partnerships (unless they can get a bottom-feeding brand like Coby to sign on — they should slit their wrists over at Nook Media instead).

The Nook areas in Barnes & Noble stores are likely to start winding down until all that remains are the photos that everyone took of them while they existed. (No, I’m not going to bother to even run one now.)

I now doubt Microsoft will buy Nook Media. It’s too damaged a brand. Lynch resigning is the final nail in its coffin. Even if Microsoft would throw good money after bad, the only way to salvage anything is to rebrand it. The return of Microsoft Reader? Harumph.

Lynch made two absolutely huge mistakes:

1) The mutant DRM

2) Rotten customer service

Nook Media might have been able to get away with the first if the second — customer service — had been of Amazon quality. But it wasn’t. And so here they are.

I think William Lynch will go into a John Sculley-like obscurity. If he’s even remembered that much.

This entire Nook Media mess was so damned unnecessary. So many people will lose their jobs now and writers will have one less outlet for their work.

No one other than Amazon wins.

And we all lose.

Previously here:

Nook Media: A Sinking Ship

2 Comments

Filed under Barnes & Noble Nook

2 responses to “Nook Media Deletes William Lynch

  1. Burn, burn! :-) What’s even more ironic is that I haven’t been around much, distracted by other things, and was a day late myself! But it was inevitable.

    The ceding to Google with the Play store was an admission they’d given up the ghost with the ultra-restricted, small appstore and their almost non-existent ‘ecosystem’ — Challenging Amazon was good for Amazon customers but B&N thought it was done with just manufacturing a device and then thinking up tougher DRM, plus quietly repartitioning the storage areas to take more personal choice away, and more walled mode than any other player.

    Giving customers Google Play was never about better customer interest. Entering the ebook scene began with free Whispernet (the main draw) and sync’d reading and annotations on private password-protected pages. Not just making a reading device. They had to compete with the many, varied services that the overworked Amazon staffers were dreaming up to keep their jobs. Actually, Amazon is a place that encourages at least a modicum of creativity, which I’ve not seen in my Nook software though I think they did a better job the first 1.5 years with magazines, so I kept a magazine subscription there and still have it.

    B&N and Lynch did not do the most basic opposition research and came out with statements that showed it and were always caught short as a result.

    Another thing besides the really important customer service that you mention, is that Bezos actually loves books but apparently, even more, creating and inventing. B&N had a marketing guy heading the Nook division and now, as you point out, they put in a numbers man.

    When they gave in to Google (who demands a lot from other stores to have access to theirs), I didn’t think the suddenly ‘discounted’ tablets were anything but getting some money back from an overstocking. You were hard on B&N, but you were right.

    Another level of irony is that while we may feel bad for the littler guy fading away (for now) in this area, they were once the big bad guys who destroyed the beloved small bookstores.

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