Kindle. Segway for books?

Jeff Bezos on a Segway. Pic by Esther Dyson

Some people are calling Amazon’s Kindle ‘iTunes for books’. I’m calling it ‘Segway for books’. Not because it’s got two wheels and a giro-stabiliser but because it’s got Jeff Bezos on it. Jeff is a fascinating and clever man (I’d like to meet him one day. I tried to once but a bizarre canapé-related incident caused me to miss him as he went by. Always felt I could have nipped the whole messy Segway episode in the bud if it weren’t for that shrimp on a stick).

Anyway, Segway I mean Kindle. Over-complex (just look at this lot), over-priced and over… er… there. I can’t help thinking there must have been some Segway engineers on the committee that decided you could email documents to Amazon for conversion to Kindle format and then wait while they email them back to you so you can transfer them via USB to the device…

What worries me is that in a year or two we’ll all be sitting round asking: “why didn’t they just do a really simple implementation of the obviously awesome electronic-paper and sell it cheap to seed take-up of the book format?” or “why didn’t they get Apple to do it?”. Having said that, I would like one (Amazon PR people looking for UK bloggers to try it out might be reading this).

And while we’re talking about Amazon and Apple, have you seen this quite brilliant and painstaking bit of brand demolition using an Amazon list? Someone explain to me the peculiar network dynamic that makes an Amazon list the right weapon for this whinge.

Pic from Esther Dyson’s photostream.

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1 comment

  1. Great article. I like your Bezos+Kindle = maybe next Segway?
    I still want to hold one, try to buy a book and then see if I actually use it.
    I’m with you. Hello Amazon, another blogger here who’d take you out for a test drive. Of course I’m in line behind Bowblog.

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