Check out and watch this insightful video by Mark Wallace as he breaks down the likely effects of the UK's historic vote to leave the EU.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Check out and watch this insightful video by EU Observer TV on the growing connected car market and the role the digital single market plays in it's growth
For years now officials and proponent of a more united Europe have dreamed of expanding the single market to digital commerce dubbed as the "digital single market" and with the UK voting to leave the EU after just over 4 decades in it, the dream may well be over.
While members of both the remain and leave campaign have stated their desire to trade with the EU and take part in the digital single market, It's very likely that the Brussels will drive a truly hard bargain to discourage other nations looking to follow the UK's example which may mean companies operating in the UK may become highly disadvantaged to firm based in remain EU member states.
Tech and media stocks were hit hardest when the UK voted leave confirming tech and media companies' apprehension of a leave victory wasn't unfounded. However, the real damage is likely to be long term as UK based tech firms will be at a serious disadvantage to firms still in the EU as while the UK may still take part in the digital single market, the EU may also hobble UK based firms by imposing freedom of movement and capital restrictions on the UK.
While nobody is entirely clear on what happens next as the UK hasn't applied to leave the EU and EU leaders are unwilling to negotiate an exit until they do, should they impose freedom of movement and capital restrictions, it will almost definitely trigger a number of tech companies to consider moving their headquarters elsewhere, most likely to be Germany, Ireland or France. Vodafone's CEO Vittorio stated publicly two days before the vote that the world's second largest mobile phone company would consider moving their HQ if the freedom of movement and capital were restricted and with the EU having a strong incentive to make an example of the UK, the odds of the EU either severely restricting either one or both is not entirely out of the question.
The biggest problem for tech and media firms is that the digital single market, which offers a streamlined set of rules and benefits, is now fractured . What this means is that tech and media firms have to follow two sets of rules to do business in Europe and this seriously put the UK at a huge disadvantage tech and media firms would largely do business freely in the UK but face a mountain of red tape as soon as they want to enter a market anywhere east of the English channel.
While the proponents of Brexit have a point when they say that the EU has no choice but to allow the UK to access the single market as it's comfortably one of the biggest and most lucrative markets in Europe and strategically important to a number of Silicon Valley giants (particularly Google and Apple) who represent just over half of the digital single market, all this likely won't stop tech and media firms jumping ship to other EU members to avoid the red tape that the EU would likely impose on the UK to access it.
Proponents know this than most which is why very few have called to end the current limbo the UK finds itself in as it has dithered to trigger article 50 which would start proceedings for a UK exit out of Europe. There is even strong support for the EU blocking UK's access to the digital single market altogether with German finance minister Wolfgang adamant that a vote to leave the EU also means an exit from the single market. While it's currently unclear whether this will happen or not, it's more than likely it will be hotly contested for what looks like months and years to come.
In sum, Brexit looks like it could be a disaster for tech and media firms for reason stated above but with the current state of uncertainty over what will happen next, the true effects of this historic vote has yet to reveal itself.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Hi Bob. It's been a long time since we last talked, what's happened since then?
I’ve launched my Time Patrol series and it’s doing very well.
What's your view on the publishing industry?
We’ve come almost full circle. Things have leveled out to an extent, but it’s not going to stay static. The big names are doing well, as always. I think the crunch is on the midlist. A midlist writer who is only traditionally published is facing a hard time ahead.
After writing so many books over the years, what inspires you to write (besides paying the bills of course)?
It’s the best job ever. I really enjoy the topics I write about and my character.
Being a graduate and former member of the green berets, What has, if anything, helped you from those days as a writer?
I employ Special Operations characters in all my books. The Time Patrol are almost all former Special Operations people who were recruited into an earlier series, Nightstalkers, and now are the Time Patrol. So I can use my experience to make the characters realistic along with their experiences.
There has been a number of great writers from Joseph Heller to George Orwell who have fought or served in wars including yourself. Why do you think so many former service men have become writers?
A desire to express what they’ve experienced. I think the opposite is a problem these days: too many thriller writers with no military experience who write unrealistic scenarios and characters; especially when they’re also pushing their political agenda.
Most people can say what's great about writing, is there anything you don't like about writing?
The hardest part about being a writer, is the actual writing. It’s easy to get distracted with so many other things going on and running a business. But butt-in-chair, undistracted time is the hardest.
What, in your opinion, makes a good or great writer?
I think that’s relative for everyone. I think the ability to make people feel and think. That’s key.
Do you have a writing process?
It’s evolved over the years. I let it flow more now. After having written over 70 books, I trust my instincts. It will come if I let it, so I try to worry less and also outline less. I let it come naturally.
Being both a publisher and author must leave a lot on your plate, how do you manage to succeed in two demanding roles?
I work pretty much all the time. But I enjoy it so that’s all right.
Having experienced both sides of industry as a publisher and writer, what, in your opinion, is the tougher role?
Both are hard and inter-connected. I think that’s why being a hybrid author is good. You know both sides of the industry. I think knowing only the author part puts one at a disadvantage in today’s marketplace.
What would you say has played a key role in your success so far?
Willingness to change. To do things differently. The #1 key to success is setting a long term goal and be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. If something doesn’t work, change.
The last time we talked I asked you about Amazon's effect on publishing industry and you were quite positive about it. What's your position on Amazon now?
I think Amazon is great for authors and for publishers. So far. That isn’t to say things can’t change. I know people feel eBooks have leveled off and bookstores are fine, but sadly, that isn’t true. The eBook is taking more and more of the market share. The only company that can possibly challenge Amazon in that market is Apple and their online store leaves a lot to be desired although it is getting better.
At Cool Gus we’re looking for just one or two bestselling traditionally published authors who want to try being hybrid. Not so much for the money, although royalty rates are so much better, but for creative control.
Do you see the increased interest and budgets expended on video based storytelling as a threat to book publishing?
No. It’s a different medium. We do a lot of video now for marketing, but mainly to expand our metadata presence.
Final Question: What do you think is the future of the written word?
I think story-telling in a variety of modes will always be around. The written word will always be around.