Born to Run with Digital Textbooks
I’ve been to 30+ Springsteen concerts, and what keeps me coming back, besides his music, is how he continues to make a difference. Whether it’s looking out for his fans or feeding the hungry, Bruce isn’t afraid to do the right thing. Even if it means breaking the rules and rocking the boat.
For some time, Springsteen has been trying to keep scalpers from taking advantage of fans. It looked like he and Ticketmaster had found a way to do that with non-transferable electronic tickets. But the first time my friends and I used the new technology, we had our doubts.
There we were, poised at our computers, repeatedly hitting the refresh button on Ticketmaster’s site, ready to buy tickets to a Springsteen concert in New Jersey. The plan was to try for different days and purchase the best set of tickets as soon as they were available. We were clicking and typing feverishly, and then it happened. Ticketmaster moved my cheese – they changed to paperless tickets. What the heck is a paperless ticket?
My friends and I ran the gamut of emotions; everything from confused to downright ticked-off.
We were on the phone exchanging rapid-fire questions. “OMG… tickets without tickets, what is that?” “Do you think we’ll have a problem getting in?” “Can you imagine the line for this?” “What happens if we can’t get in?” “Do we bring the receipt?” “Should we buy the tickets?” Yes, we decided to embrace the unknown and go for it.
After doing a little research, we found out that all we needed to bring to the concert was the credit card used to charge the tickets, and a valid ID that matched the name on the card. At the concert, we passed through security, and then to a short line, where our credit card was swiped, and our tickets printed (made it easier to find our seats). In under a minute, we were through the turnstile and on our way to our seats.
And that’s when it hit me. Paperless tickets are a lot like our digital All Access Pass (AAP) product that will be in bookstores in time for summer and fall classes. Instead of buying a print book, students will buy an AAP redemption code that gives them immediate access to their textbook in multiple digital formats, from e-textbook to print-it-yourself PDF.
The textbook publishing industry has been operating in the same old way for a long time. Then Flat World Knowledge comes along with a new business model and new products that break the rules.
Admittedly, paving a new way comes with a few bumps in the road and growing pains. We understand that. Fear of change and the unknown is just human.
While we believe the AAP is a better experience for students (and more affordable, green and convenient than print), we know it isn’t the best solution for everyone. That’s why students can still buy print books at low prices directly from our website. And, as always, students have access to their assigned textbook FREE online.
So here we are, with our paperless tickets and our paperless textbooks, ready to keep breaking the rules, rocking the boat and making history.
Baby, we were born to run…