Articles tagged "Bob Young"

Do people really care where their stuff comes from?

2 min read

Members of the Lulu team recently attended the 12th annual Sustainable Business and Social Impact Conference (SBSI) sponsored by Duke University.  Lulu COO, Kathy Hensgen participated in a panel discussion titled “Responsible Consumption and Production – Do People Really Care Where Their Stuff Comes From?”

Katie Kross, the Managing Director of Duke University’s Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE), led the conversation with representatives from Walmart, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Burt’s Bees, and Lulu. Each participant provided a unique perspective on their social and environmental impacts.

As part of the discussion, Hensgen explained that Lulu’s path to sustainability began in 2002 following Bob Young’s experience publishing traditionally. When all was said and done, he did all the work, got paid the least, and ended up with a garage full of books his contract required him to purchase as stock. In response, Young launched Lulu, a DIY print-on-demand publisher. The print-on-demand model removes the burden of maintaining a book inventory allowing authors and institutions to print only the books they need at any given time. He later learned that nearly 40% of all traditionally published print books do not sell and are eventually returned for pulping and recycling.  So not only did his print-on-demand model benefit authors, it also benefited the environment by preserving our natural resources.

Contributing to Lulu’s sustainability initiative, our global print partners are contractually obligated to manufacture books with a 0.5% defect rate or lower. This not only ensures high quality books, but also reduces waste by eliminating rework and reprints. Lulu books are printed on paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified meaning suppliers must follow good harvesting practices.

Panel participants. Kathy Hensgen is seated on the far right.

 

Following the completion of our B Corp certification, Lulu remains committed to a path of continuous improvement with a strong focus on the environment. In addition to our sustainable business practices, Lulu recently relocated to an energy-efficient building, uses eco-friendly office products, has implemented robust recycling programs (including composting). We are now also purchasing renewable energy credits and working with our supply chain to improve their environmental impact.

We think people do actually care where their products come from. Sustainability is not always easy, but we believe that even small steps and improvements make a big impact over time. In all we do, our goal is to be better than yesterday, everyday.

Lulu.com’s Fall Conference Line-up

2 min read

We’re hitting the road this fall! Dan Dillon, our resident product marketing extraordinaire, and Glenn Hunt, self-publishing guru and Lulu forum moderator, will be speaking on three panels at the upcoming Self-Publishing Book Expo. Additionally, Lulu’s founder and chairman, Bob Young, who works to keep Lulu and the industry at the front of digital disruption and innovative, will be speaking at three key digital conferences this fall.

The upcoming events include:

  • All Things Open – October 22, 2014 in Raleigh, NC
    • Speaker: Bob Young
    • Topic: So You Want to Start an Open Source Company?
  • Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) @Seneca College – October 23, 2014 in Toronto, Canada
    • Keynote: Bob Young
  • Internet Summit – November 12, 2014 in Raleigh, NC
    • Featured Speaker: Bob Young
  • Self-Publishing Book Expo – November 15, 2014 in New York, NY
    • Speakers: Dan Dillon and Glenn Hunt
    • Session: Team Building – With a wealth of new resources at your disposal, deciding if you need a team (and who should be on it) has become a much simpler process. In this session you’ll learn from the pros and from fellow authors, where you can go it alone, when and where you might need help and how you can find it.
    • Advanced Marketing – More experienced authors will gain even greater knowledge of marketing techniques that will help boost sales. Topics covered in this session will include, how and where to advertise, targeted bookstore promotions, blog ads, reading groups, how to reach libraries and librarians and how to create and upload a book trailer.
    • Formatting: One of the many advantages of self-publishing is having the power to choose which format to present your work. Hardcovers, paperbacks, eBooks, audiobooks are all viable options depending on your audience and your level of expertise. Join this informative session to learn all you need to produce a book in the right format for you.

Come check us out!

Lulu Sponsors Entrepreneurs

1 min read

Lulu sponsored our first eGames in cooperation with the NC State University Entrepreneurship Initiative this spring.

The Lulu eGames provides an opportunity for student entrepreneurs from all disciplines to present their business ideas in a competition format.  Students, either individually or in teams, compete for prizes totaling up to $30,000.  The competition includes several rounds of judging each spring where participants present executive summaries, business plans and prototypes for their ideas.  Bob Young’s support of entrepreneurs in the Triangle has led him to make a donation to the eGames for the next five years.  In recognition of his gift, the eGames are now branded The Lulu eGames and will serve as a great opportunity for us to build our brand on campus and in the local community.

Continue Reading »

Lulu Celebrates 10 Years of Author Success

2 min read

10 years ago our founder and CEO Bob Young had a vision that would change the publishing industry forever. Spawned from his own frustrations traditionally publishing his autobiography Under the Radar, Bob foresaw that “there had to be a better way to publish.” He wanted an open, affordable, and public solution that aspiring authors could use to share their knowledge and ideas with readers more easily than ever before.  Thus in 2002 Lulu.com was born.

Since 2002, we have been working hard to tear down barriers of entry for publishing and help authors sell more books, and we’ve been succeeding. Here are just a few of our most important milestones in the last 10 years:

2002: Lulu.com was founded
2003: Lulu’s first best-selling author publishes and holds the title for three years.

Continue Reading »

Lulu Presents at the Mongo DB Conference in Atlanta

2 min read

I do not speak engineer speak. Luckily, Lulu has a team of brilliant team of engineers who do speak that foreign language and speak it well. So well, in fact, that our Senior Engineering Manager Kevin Calcagno is presenting today at the Mongo DB Conference hosted by 10gen in Atlanta on his experience and expertise using the Mongo database system.

Mongo DB is a free, open source solution (to be more specific, an open source NoSQL database), which is part of the attraction for Lulu, since Lulu has always supported the concept of free, open source software. Lulu itself is open-source software that we make available for anyone to use for free. For more info on how to build your own publishing business using our APIs, read this: Expand Your Business With Custom Publishing Solutions. Our history with open source extends even farther back in time to when Lulu CEO Bob Young founded Red Hat.

Kevin has spoken at a Mongo event before, hosted at our Lulu headquarters here in Raleigh. For slides of his past presentation, look to farther: Why we decided NoSQL was right for us, How we came to choose MongoDB.

“When we hosted here, we had so many people attending that we had to start stealing chairs from people’s desks around the office to provide enough seating!

Kevin’s talk today will focus on the insights he can provide based on Lulu’s experience using Mongo DB. He plans to give his audience a sense of what prompted us to switch to Mongo, what the implementation process was like and what we tripped on along the way so that they don’t have to.

“Mongo is really freaking fast,” Kevin says. “Whereas our old system, since it had to pull together so many pieces of data, was comparatively slow. Fractions of seconds add up pretty quickly when you have the volume of traffic that we do.”

The Mongo DB Conference is a very technical conference, but highly recommended for those with the appropriate knowledge base. And, just a little nudge in the right direction, if you fit that description, Lulu encourages authors with technical expertise to publish their information, books, manuals and more through Lulu.com.

And if this tech speak is over your head, what is important for you to know as an author is that Lulu’s engineers are working hard every day to provide the best way to keep your valuable information and content safe, organized and easily accessible.

NC Amendment One Impacts Businesses Like Lulu

1 min read

I believe that Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers makes a good statement about North Carolina Amendment One, up for vote on May 8:

“You’re sending a message to the world that we’re not inclusive… North Carolina is competing with the world for business, and we have to be inclusive and open.”

This amendment has an economic impact. As a business owner, it impacts my ability to attract the talented, highly educated, open minded people that Lulu needs. It further impacts my ability to offer competitive health benefits to my employees and their families.

This is not about supporting or opposing gay marriage, it’s about taking the conversation off the table completely. It’s about North Carolina, via its constitution, sending a message that everyone in the state isn’t even willing to have the conversation.

Bob tells NBC17 the secrets to innovation

1 min read

In a recent interview with NBC17, Lulu CEO Bob Young explains the secrets of his success:

  • out-innovate your competitors by offering something that doesn’t already exist
  • offer something that customers value more than price
  • distinguish your customers’ wants from their needs and deliver what they need

These are the points we keep in mind when we make business decisions, like updating our platform so that we’ll be able to move faster, consider more options and adapt more easily.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)