Fish to fry

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Yesterday it was final. I won’t be president of HIT (Holon Institute of Technology) in the forseeable future. After a very long wait (the search committee interviewed us right at the beginning of October), the college officially announced that Prof. Eduard Yaakubov will be the next President. Eduard and I have different personalities and probably different philosophies regarding academia. He is a highly likeable person and I wish him great success. I would be lying if I said that I am not somewhat disappointed (although I was never the ‘favorite’ in this race) but I am grateful that I have other fish to fry these days.

And the main fish, of course, is Ourboox. The past few months have been both exciting and enlightenting. Co-founder (and ace developer) Ran Shternin has become like an extended family member (I am feeding him couscous in our kitchen as I write these words), and we have the good fortune to be encompassed by a growing group of supporters. People(like Shuli and Hagai) contributing poems and stories, others illustrating (Rotem, Hemda, Daniella, Yehudit, Guy, Amit, , folks helping us with the UI/UX (Yaron and Hemda), social media (Patricia) and getting us to understand the commercial aspects (Drue, Alon, Alicia). This is the first kernel of what we hope will turn into a global community.

Now for some really good news. A few days ago we signed a term sheet with Deloitte (one of the world’s largest companies for auditing, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advice) who will accompany us for at least the next two years as we seek investment and grow. On Dec. 4th I will be presenting our fledgling start-up at the Innovate Israel event in London. On Dec. 12th Campus TLV is hosting us for a full day conference and ‘bookathon’ called “The Future of Digital Publishing”, together with Miri Leshem, head of SCWBI, and other distingushed guests and lecturers. And finally, on January 23rd, I am a guest speaker on the future of professional publishing at the BETT congress in the UK. We are still hoping to launch at the DLD meeting in January, awaiting confirmation from our friends in Munich.

So a big thanks for all of you out there who are accompanying our journey, and helping us with our dream of a world where anyone can self-publish and share books for free!!