Articles Tagged with Scholastic

HAG16Over the past couple of decades education publishing has been characterized by waves of consolidation into a handful of giant conglomerates. This is a typical pattern in an industry as products commoditize.

If products are effectively interchangeable (commodities) competitors gain competitive advantage through industrial scale cost management (economies of scale). Bigger warehouses, off-shoring production, distribution networks built on fleets of professional salespeople, and access to capital drove smaller players into the arms of Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin (Harcourt), and Scholastic.

We can see that they became huge – but what were the market forces that drove them to do this?

125x125This article is based on notes from a panel at the Ed Tech Industry Forum in New York that took place in December. The insights the panelists shared are no less relevant now that we are into the new administration and sorting out the economic stimulus.

The panel consisted of:

The panel members are operators which stood in contrast to most of the investor oriented agenda at the ETBF.

 Images 08Ednetlogoweb2 0408EdNet turned 20 this year. EdNet 2008 is happening right now in Boston. A huge congratulations goes out to the whole EdNet team for forging one of the required stops for the Educati. Nelson Heller, Vicki Bigham, Anne Wujcik and the rest of the team continue to put on an outstanding event year after year.

I’ve been attending since the early 90’s and it is wonderful to see so many familiar faces and so many new ones every year. It is always a delicious tension to juggle attending sessions and spending time out in the hallway conducting business. More often than not business wins – but either way you come out ahead. You can learn valuable insights in the sessions or you can make valuable connections in the schmoozefest out by the coffee.

Ever since 9/11 EdNet has also been a somber reminder for me of the events that day. We were all in a general session when it happened and we retired en masse to the bar (not open) to watch in horror and sympathy as the grisly events unfolded. We could see the smoke at the Pentagon from our rooms in the hotel. I remember walking in the park a couple of days later and the unsettling silence because there were no planes weaving down the Potomac to National. Every 15 minutes a lone F18 would circle overhead.