App, Meet Book (Ron Martinez)

Ron Martinez is the founder of Aerbook, and its parent company, Invention Arts. He’s a prolific inventor, with close to a hundred and fifty issued patents or patent applications currently in flight. Prior to his current work at Invention Arts, Ron worked for a number of years as Vice President, Intellectual Property Innovation for Yahoo! You can find Ron on Twitter at: @ronmartinez.

When considering the evolution of the book, it’s useful to look at the dynamics in other forms of media. We have enough history now with computers as an expressive medium to see that some dynamics are repeated so reliably that they may as well be considered laws. Take, for example:

The Laws of Surprise and Demand

  • The first iteration of a platform delivers enough to establish that platform.
  • Platform capabilities evolve faster than does the content.
  • Content innovators surprise the marketplace with delightful new experiences made possible by the evolved platform.
  • People demand these and other delightful new experiences.

In the technical medium, the act of surprising people with cool new experiences leads to demand for those experiences. It may seem shallow, but it’s not, really. It’s kind of the story of human expression in all forms of media, if you think about it.

Recent market experience illustrates this invariable progression. Take computer games, for instance, and the continual stair-stepping of fast-evolving platforms. They have to evolve first, because you ...

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