News from struggling book store chain Barnes & Noble today indicates they may split off their Nook ebook reader. CEO William Lynch, via Reuters, says: "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."
This seems totally nuts for at least two reasons. First, the Nook is sucking money from B&N's more profitable ventures. If they spin it off, where does the capital come from? With Apple and Amazon as the main competition, doesn't the Nook need the largest possible backing? Going independent seems totally wrong.
Second, Lynch et al have been touting the Nook as the company's future, the key reason why the overbuilt megastore chain won't suffer the same fate as Borders. They just rejiggered all their stores to focus more on the Nook. What's the fate of Barnes & Noble without a viable electronic book strategy? Kind of like Kodak without digital cameras?