Davos Newbies Home

Sun’s Schwartz on quality over quantity 

The Financial Times has caught on to corporate blogs in a big way.

Sun’s president Jonathan Schwartz is interviewed today (subscribers only):

  I am much more interested in quality than quantity. When I go to a Wall Street analysts’ event and ask, ‘Which of you reads my blog?’ half the room raises its hand. I would rather have those 50 than 500,000 people from Slashdot [a technology community site] who want to comment on my haircut or my wardrobe.

The world’s worst airport bookstores 

I’m sitting in San Francisco airport waiting to board my flight home — back to London, which is still home for about 10 more weeks.

The international terminal in San Francisco is a very nice building, with decent amenities. But it must have the worst — truly the worst — bookstores in the world (for any place with pretensions to any culture).

I have a few things to read, but I thought I’d buy something else for the 10-hour flight. Nothing. Nada. Nichevo. They have every novel by John Grisham, everything by James Patterson, everything by Tom Clancy.

I didn’t see a single book, however, that didn’t have gold or silver raised lettering on the cover. There wasn’t even anything that could count as superior schlock.

I think this is both scandalous and a huge, missed marketing opportunity. Most terminals at both Heathrow and Gatwick in London have proper bookshops. I can recall a decent outlet in one of the terminals at Chicago O’Hare. Changi Airport in Singapore — an entire country that doesn’t have one decent bookstore — has an okay selection. I can’t believe the shelf space in SFO is more valuable than those places. They could surely afford one metre of Penguin classics. Or how about a shelf of passable technology books in an airport where you look out the windows and stare at Silicon Valley?

Labout a sure thing 

Jackie Ashley: “Short of Tony Blair going on live television and telling the nation that he intends to bring in compulsory euthanasia for the widows of war veterans to make more space for Algerian asylum seekers, Labour cannot be beaten.”

One thought on “Davos Newbies Home

  1. Frank Leahy

    I flew from SFO to London on Tuesday last (the 19th), and was both amused and appalled by the same thing, i.e. there are no books to buy in the International departures area. I asked at the news shop, which had, as you say, nothing but Grisham’s and Collins, and they pointed me down the concourse. At the end of the concourse is a second outlet of the same news shop, with, if it’s possible to believe, even less selection. Although I had 90 minutes before my plane left, I just couldn’t face going out and then back through the xray machines again. And I’m not sure there are any bookstores in the International concourse anyway, are there? There’s a music store, and a SFMOMA store, but no real bookstore that I recall.

    — Frank Leahy


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