Embrace the Love


Barnes & Noble is the rare turnaround story these days of a brick and mortar dinosaur finding traction against the behemoth of Amazon. The company’s recent turnaround is credited to new CEO James Daunt. The UK banker found success in books, helping right the ship of a UK bookseller before being tapped for Barnes & Noble.

Daunt’s secret? He loves books.

Or at least all the policies he’s implemented seem to be on the side of the reader. That’s according to analysis by Ted Gioia:

  • Shifting displays from pay-for-placement to favorite books.
  • Giving local staff more control over what’s in stock.
  • Making stores engaging and interesting.

A bookstore that’s focused on the books? What a concept.

Here’s how Gioia frames the lesson: “If you want to sell music, you must love those songs. If you want to succeed in journalism, you must love those newspapers. If you want to succeed in movies, you must love the cinema.”

To find success, embrace the love.