Till now, Paperight has been a labour of love built beside the day-to-day work of Electric Book Works. The site’s never been live, except in rudimentary, pilot-test form for a few weeks in 2009. We were very close to live around the end of 2010, but a bad strategic decision on my part meant we burned too quickly through the last of EBW’s development cash and couldn’t finish. Paperight had to stand quietly while we regrouped. I learned some hard lessons.
From September, though, Paperight’s development will be steaming ahead faster than ever, thanks to the generous support of the Shuttleworth Foundation. I’ll be leaving my day-to-day role at EBW to work full-time on Paperight and its rights engine as a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. I’m incredibly excited and privileged to have this opportunity, and thrilled to be working with the Foundation: they’re as committed to Paperight’s social bottom line as I am, and fully supportive of Paperight’s financial and environmental aims too. And their emphasis on openness fits well with the transparency Paperight needs in order to be useful and effective.
Paperight will formally become a separate company – not an EBW project – and the Foundation will own a minority stake in it. Over the coming months, I’ll be assembling a team and meeting with potential partners – content owners, universities, printing and copier businesses and others – with the aim of rolling out a working Paperight service within months.
Here’s my (rough but sincere) Shuttleworth pitch video: