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Amazon Kindle : Jeff Bezos and his non-working old school methods

Jeff Bezos et le kindle d’amazonWe can always question the motivation of the rich and famous men to continue to excel. Finally, it may be simply that every great man can always find a taller man than him.

In the case of Jeff Bezos, the better man is indeed Steve Jobs. Moreover, he’s perfectly clear by saying that the Kindle will be the iPod of books . Let us not mince words 😉

I saw in particular TV show on LCI (22 November) and frankly, it wasn’t a breakthrough :  » What has been the success of Amazon’s approach is that it focuses on the needs of users and not on the supply of competitors.  » It is true that the purchasing recommendations ( « customers who bought this, also bought this … ») and the « One click buy » were really major innovations. Probably those that have marked the last decade of e-commerce.
OK, but now what’s next?

When you look at this Kindle, master piece of the Amazon strategy, it is reasonable to wonder if this is not a joke. While Bezos wants to be the iPod of books, one recalls the look of the iPod revolutionary at the time, not counting the interface of the magic touch wheel. The kindle a gray, bulky, highlights the corners, very few ergonomic (those who have listened Philippe Starck to analyze the kindle reader during leweb3 will understand …). An outmoded design, this is what we feel when we see the equipment. Such a bad begining.

The concept of e-books apparently dates from 1998. With eg REB1200 . At that time, everyone was betting that the paper book would disappear. Well no, the book is doing well, even today. Why the first generation of ebook readers did failed ? bad timing, product immaturity (liquid crystal displays, memory, batteries, connectivity, usability, etc.), immaturity of the market ( editors were afraid to distribute their content in this way, misunderstanding of the concept by clients, lack of downloadable contents, affordability of materials and contents), bad marketing performance ? I am not qualified to tell the reasons, but it was a flop, and a big one.

Recently, the french news paper « Les echos » launched its e-paper. Maturity of the customers, availability of contents, business model targeted to financial professionals, who consume large amounts of information. In short, the framework was much more serious thus more credible. The result : After 3 months, 1500 customers, according to an interview with Cyberpresse . This is the target set by Philippe Jeannet. This seems ridiculous compared to 130000 daily copies of the newspaper and one million unique visitors per month on the site. But at € 700 per unit, included subscription (365 € per year), it’s not bad though.

And now it’s Amazon to enter the scene with great communication. The main innovation of their product is that you can download books from anywhere in wifi or GSM, indifferently. And then, like sending paper books, Amazon takes care of all the costs for transporting the electronic book. This is a major argument because WiFi coverage is bad when you’re on mobility and GSM data connections are horribly expensive. And then there’s also this technology epaper which has, unlike LCD, the advantage of no energy consumption, except during the change of state (roughly when turning pages)

However, Kindle no shortage of weaknesses even ridiculously blockers. And if there is one thing that Jeff Bezos may rely once again, it’s to go against the tide. Where Apple and even many majors have effectively (and finally?) abandoned the DRM. Amazon claims loud and clear his proprietary system. First, you will not lend an electronic book (I mean the files) to your friends, but you will not be able to include files as free pdf. You must first convert your files in their proprietary format. But that’s not all. You can download RSS feeds, but you have to pay for it, yes, pay to read blogs that are free on the web. Worse you are captives of the format and you have no guarantee of being able to read another purchased book in another equipment…

So what Jeff Bezos wants to go and why is it massively followed by publishers?
Probably, because there is an old dream of publishers since Gutemberg: prevent literary from being copied, lent to friends, available in libraries and sold on second hand markets. Because of course you can’t lend your kindle to a friend, if you still want to read your other books that are inside 😉
We could imagine that in the long run it will require you to pay again to read the book a second time.

It is a model, but it will not be easy to convince consumers. Especially with a purchase price of $ 400 US.
Also, there is cultural property by the public, sharing experiences with friends, access to culture to the poor people. But that is another debate 😉
For the time being, Kindle is only available the united states. Let’s see how the market will react 😉
Especially as the Readius arrives …

However, it seems that Kindle was sold out. More stock for Christmas … And $ 1500 on ebay. Real excitement, incompetence or handling logistics marketing well-known for creating the rarity ? and therefore generate buzz and give a hand « Hype » to the product …

[tags]amazon, kindle, jeff bezos, epaper, ebook[/tags]

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