Agile Publishing Model.

Futurist David Houle

Welcome to the future!  The future of humanity and the future of publishing.

I am very excited about my new book Entering the Shift Age and the new model of publishing Sourcebooks has created, the Agile Publishing Model (APM). The APM is an innovative platform that allows authors to make their content available faster and in a more flexible format. For example, to suit your needs and interests as readers, Sourcebooks offers a variety of ways to purchase the content of Entering the Shift Age, either in individual parts (“mini eBooks”) or as a whole. (Check out “How to Purchase: The Agile Way”.) You can learn more about the APM by watching the video below.

This is part of the future of publishing. Now let’s turn toward our own future, the future of humanity.

We now live in the Shift Age, a time of transformation that will be regarded by future historians as one of the most significant periods in human history. The Shift Age is one of those inflection points or times when much of humanity will change how we live, how we think, how we interact with each other and what we do.


Download Entering the Shift AgeClick here to download the complete .pdf of Part Four of Entering the Shift Age.


Brands and their marketing will change significantly in the Shift Age. A good bit of this change has to do with the fact that the Shift Age is basically coincidental with the beginning of the 21st century. The 20th century was the century of media as we know it. Newspapers reached unprecedented mass, radio reached into the home, movies became mass entertainment, television changed the world, followed by cable television. Finally, in the last decade of the century the Internet brought the century and media as we knew it to a transformative close.

Brands and marketing were completely shaped and driven by this media-centric century, as it was media that allowed marketers to create branding through it. Much of what was, and with a good dose of legacy thinking, still is considered to be definitions of brands and marketing was formed in the last 50 years of the 20th century. However, in the 21st century and now the Shift Age, all of these definitions and axioms are being challenged and destroyed. The Internet has assumed supremacy. It has subsumed much of formerly dominant individual media forms from the last century and instead is becoming their connective tissue. It certainly has fundamentally changed consumer behavior and of course it is to the consumer that brands are marketed.

Brands through the Ages

We need to take a larger historical step back to look at Brands, as much of what is about to happen to them in the Shift Age will in some way be analogous to their earliest stages .

Brands and Trademarks predate the modern era and capitalism. They began to appear when long distance commerce began. Initially people exchanged goods locally and therefore tended to have personal connections to the local producer whose business reputation was known and who had an interest in maintaining ongoing trade relationships. When people began to trade long distance, this personal guarantee and reputation was no longer available, and various forms of “marks” were used to help ensure the buyer of the quality and quantity of the goods being sold. Then, sometime around 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia with the structured beginning of long distance trading, elemental brands, or marks, were used to represent the origin of the product or the maker as reputation or quality had been established.


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