The World Needs The Next Gutenberg Press

Readability Matters celebrates Dr. Clayton Christensen’s influential business ideas and his thought leadership in improving the world through disruptive innovation. Readability Matters posits that personalized reading formats are the next disruptive innovation in reading technology. The next generation of reading will be dominated by the reading applications that deliver the best reading experiences. Will it be the current content providers who innovate or a new disruptive reading application that leads?

A Readability Matters White Paper

Reading Needs Its Next Gutenberg Press

The Next Wave in Reading Technology
for Education, Employee Productivity and Beyond
Marjorie Jordan and Kathy Crowley
March 23, 2021


Reading Needs Its Next Gutenberg PressIt is widely accepted that reading is one of the most efficient ways to acquire information; better readers are more confident and have more educational, career, and life opportunities. Many people in the United States can read, yet, the US Department of Education finds that most are not proficient. There are countless individuals not fully participating in the knowledge economy. It is not just basic literacy that is important; proficient reading has a broad-reaching societal impact.

Reading material delivered in a one-format-fits-all model has been the norm for centuries on paper and for decades electronically. Yet, research demonstrates strong readers and struggling readers, adults and children, all have the potential to experience improved reading outcomes using a technology-enabled model of reading with personalized text formats. We posit that technology affordances create new opportunities; rather than optimize for the population, we can optimize reading formats for the individual. We recognize Adobe’s innovative work to enable readers to reflow and reformat PDFs to support improved reading outcomes.

We use Clayton Christensen’s frameworks to describe how the approaching wave of reading technology will address customer’s next-generation performance needs, therefore expanding the written material market to currently underserved and unserved customers. The convergence of increasingly ubiquitous technology, digital content, and reading applications make it possible to imagine a world of personalized reading formats, significantly improving reading proficiency and comprehension, making each reader the best reader they can be.

Read the full paper here.