So how’s that “paperless society” going?

I have a kindle. Thought it was a bit odd when I first used it…like single ply toilet paper, it works, but you know there’s better.

Speaking of better. You know what’s better? 

Well triple ply of course…and paper books. No not paper books for that, that’s gross…for reading. Paper books for reading. Better than a kindle in every way.

When flogging the kindle I remember Bezos explaining how we could hold an entire library on this little thing. And he was right of course. We can. I’ve God knows how many books on mine now, more than I’ll probably read in the next few decades, and by then there’ll be some robot that simply uploads the books into my brain for me while feeding me mushy food through a straw so the kindle will, like vinyl records, bell-bottoms and respect for elders be gone. But you know what’ll still be around? Books. I’m sure of it. There’s something to the experience of reading an actual book that’s almost therapeutic. 

And you know what? Even if I’m dead wrong paper will be around.

Paper, I will remind you, we were led to believe was going the way of the Dodo bird. 

The internet would usher in a paperless society and poof we’d save the rainforests in a heartbeat. Except we didn’t.

While the internet grew faster than the list of folks now distancing themselves from Prince “they caught me being a pedo” Andrew, the same wasn’t true of the pulp and paper industry’s imminent demise due to the coming “paperless society”.

Here take a look. Here’s a list of the major players.

And here’s how they’ve fared since their impending demise was pronounced as imminent.

McKinsey put out a decent report on the industry.

The paper and forest-products industry is not disappearing—far from it. But it is changing, morphing, and developing. We would argue that the industry is going through the most substantial transformation it has seen in many decades.

When a broad narrative takes hold it’s always worth digging a little deeper. Not always but sometimes you’ll find that the prevailing “market wisdom” is not wise at all. It may well be as dumb as a box of rocks.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Sometimes you’ll find that the prevailing ‘market wisdom’ is not wise at all.” quote=”Sometimes you’ll find that the prevailing ‘market wisdom’ is not wise at all.”]

What folks completely missed is that those books and paper that the average Joe Sixpack thinks of when you say the word paper was always just a segment of a very broad market in the pulp and paper industry. Except that Joe Sixpack didn’t really know isht about the industry.

I dare say the same thing is happening right here and now in the energy markets. We’re told that EV’s will take over from ICE vehicles, we’re told that renewables will replace fossil fuels…and all within a few short years. I humbly submit this is f’ing stupidly bone-headedly, mathematically impossibly wrong incorrect.

And as such the value proposition is breathtakingly delicious. More on this later. Right now I’m going to read my book.



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