||Thursday, May 26, 2005
It does not happen to me often, but today I ended up in the wrong
location because of the mispronounctiation of a word. I wanted to go to
Shaanxi Lu, but the driver understood Shanxi Lu. The pronounciation is
quite similar to me, although fluent Mandarin speakers will probably
totally disagree. Anyway, I got in the taxi and started working on my
laptop without looking where we were driving to. When we arrived I
realized I was close to the Bund, although I should have been at CITIC
Square... The taxi driver was laughing at me for mispronouncing such a
simple street name, but he very was happy to earn an additional 15
Seth Godin realizes the potential power of numbers:
There are fifty five million Chinese kids that take piano lessons.
And if one of them is also good at programming he has a paid internship available as well.
After writing the business idea post just now, I came accross this article
in the NY Times. Audio books are becoming much more popular in the US.
Why? You can listen to them whatever you are doing: during running,
during the daily commute to work, while walking the dog, or late at
night in bed. Whatever you do and wherever you are, take your iPod with
you and you can listen to the latest books.
Excerpts from the NYTimes.com article:
<Quote> JIM HARRIS, a lifelong bookworm, cracked the covers of only four books
last year. But he listened to 54, all unabridged. He listened to Harry
Potter and "Moby-Dick," Don DeLillo and Stephen King. He listened in
the car, eating lunch, doing the dishes, sitting in doctors' offices
and climbing the stairs at work.
For a growing group of devoted listeners, the popularity of audio
books is redefining the notion of reading, which for centuries has been
centered on the written word. Traditionally, it is also an activity
that has required one's full attention.
But audio books, once
seen as a kind of oral CliffsNotes for reading lightweights, have
seduced members of a literate but busy crowd by allowing them to read
while doing something else. Digital audio that can be zapped onto an
MP3 player is also luring converts. The smallest iPod,
the Shuffle, holds roughly four books; the newest ones include a
setting that speeds up the narration without raising the pitch. <end Quote>
Will China be next?
Because of Toodou.com I am
professionally very interested in podcasting and related businesses.
One of the early ideas we had with Toodou.com is to add audio books to
the line-up. However, because we decided to focus more on video this
was dropped. You have to focus and cannot do everything, at least you
cannot do everything well. I still think audio books have a great
future in China. There are hardly any titles available, and services
like audible.com do not exist yet. We did some preliminary research,
and it seems the audio rights for books can still be picked up very
So if you are looking for a good business idea for China, this may be
it. And if you don't want to build the business from scratch, feel free
to contact us at Toodou.com. We could for example add it to the
existing site (audio.toodou.com?), which is beneficial for both parties.
© Copyright 2005 Marc van der Chijs.