May 19, 2020

Barnes & Noble Considers Losing the Nook

tablets
Amazon
Amazon Kindle
Nook
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Barnes & Noble Considers Losing the Nook

 

 

Barnes & Noble saw strong sales of its Nook eReader over the nine-week holiday shopping period. Sales for the Nook were so strong that the bookseller may sell off the entire Nook division.

Sure, that sounds a bit big-business-backward at first, but it makes perfect sense to Barnes & Noble, which announced that it is considering spinning off the costly Nook unit of its business in order to give it room to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

“We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our NOOK business in only two years and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,” said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch in a statement.

While Nook holiday sales increased this year by 43 percent, the Nook still sits firmly in the shadow of Amazon’s Kindle—the clear leader in eReader sales. In order to continue to compete with the Kindle, Barnes & Noble will need to invest heavily in new software, hardware and advertisements—a venture that may prove to be unfavorable with investors.

See Related Stories from Business Review USA:

Amazon to Fix Kindle Fire Complaints with Major Update

Barnes & Noble Unveils Nook Tablet, Slams Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble’s New Nook Simple Touch Reader

“The Nook business has been a growth business for Barnes & Noble,” said Forrester Research Senior Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. “But there’s no doubt that continued growth and international expansion will take sustained investment that Barnes & Noble shareholders will not have the patience for.”

According to the New York Times, another analyst estimates that Barnes & Noble spends $200 million to $250 million a year on the Nook.

So who will scoop up the Nook business if and when Barnes & Noble sets it free? Analysts have thrown out a variety of names, from Google to Liberty Media. Maxim Group senior media analyst John Tinker thinks the Nook would be served well by a traditional retailer.

“Companies such as Wal-Mart no longer have DVDs as a loss leader to create foot traffic,” Tinker said. “[They] are losing on the customer loyalty front to Amazon.”

At any rate, we’ll have to sit tight and wait to see what Barnes & Noble actually decides to do with Nook. The company is reviewing its options and said that it will not comment further on the matter until a final decision is made.

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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