remember the first time I used TiVo. I instantly knew it was a
disruptive technology that would change how people watch TV. It's even
better than I thought I was. That doesn't mean it was a great
investment in the stock market; but it was a terrific investment in the
And the ripples of this technology are still being felt
whether you're using TiVo or some other digital video recorder.
The Kindle is a Disruptive Technology Well-Placed In the Consumer Adoption Cycle:
a Kindle reminds me of the first time I used TiVo. Only this might be
different, because we're several generations of technology further
along. And the world is ready for it.
Kindle 2 is ergonomic and reasonably fast. It is a great way to read.
It also has a built-in Internet connection, which means you have access
to content virtually anywhere. And it just so happens that the content
you want is the content Amazon sells.
Chances are you already go to Amazon's website. Because of
economies of scale, not only do they have a bigger inventory, they have
a bigger community of users who rate the books and write reviews of the
A few years ago, Barnes & Noble and Borders tried to compete
with Amazon online. As a user, I went to the competitors' site once or twice … but the
first time Amazon had the book I was looking for and the other site didn't … or
the first time that Amazon had reviews of a product and the other site didn't –
well, that was all it took to stop going to those sites.
continues to extend that edge with bigger inventories, more product
lines, and a truly mature delivery pipe. Their storefront and
shopping cart has been used tens of millions of times is an important
part of the value proposition.
Psychologically Smart, Part 1: Amazon Banks on Funny Money:
On the Kindle, Amazon makes it easy for you to
buy with "one click" over their "Whispernet" always-on data network.
So you don't hear or feel your money as it leaves your account. This is
Psychologically Smart, Part 2: Amazon Banks on Your Addiction to Instant Gratification:
Even better, though, is how they handle samples. It is already changing how I use Amazon. With the Kindle, I
have instant gratification.
I can find a book and download a sample in
seconds. In many cases, the Kindle version is dramatically cheaper than
the old paper version. So, I suspect that I'll be downloading samples
of many books. And when I like the author's writing style or find a few
ideas that I can use, I'm one click away from being able to read the
rest of it (even if I'm in a meeting or stuck at the airport).
time, I might find that I prefer certain books in paper format. On
the other hand, I've been surprised by how likely I am to read a little
of this and a little of that.
And being able to have a whole bookshelf
is a pretty cool competitive advantage too.