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ipad vs kindle.top  300x217 Mr Bezos   Amazon is Making a Big Mistake   : Blog Promotion

(if you know Jeff, Make sure he get’s this…)

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

Jeff,

For God Sakes Man, leave the iPad alone.  It will prove to be your White Whale.

I won’t rehash all of the reasons why turning the Kindle into an iPad killer makes my stomach turn.  Instead, let’s talk about what the Amazon Brand means to me (and your tribe).

Jeff, you and I have always seen eye to eye.  You’ve focused on my needs from day one.  I have never had a single complaint about the Amazon tribe.  Sure you’ve taken way too much money out of my bank account – but I have been enthusiastically co-dependent.  Your gargantuan inventory, single-minded customer service, even your laugh has been a delight.

Most of all, I’ve never tired of spreading every Amazon story I hear.  I’m sure fellow Amazon Tribe members agree that you’ve never been a boring partner.  Everytime I scold a business about playing fast and loose with their brand, I remind them to follow-your example.

Kindle Saved Our Relationship

Then you kicked it up a notch with Kindle.

I have to admit, that I haven’t been the best customer lately. We were getting a little distant.  I still loved your brand but  I just wasn’t in love with physical books.  They took up too much space and didn’t travel well.  But with Kindle, you blessed me with a magic library that I could (stylishly) carry with me.  Jeff you had me at “free shipping” but geez – the Kindle + Kindle App one-two punch was (truly) magical.

Your brand’s story is complete, clear, and compelling.  You’ve spent the right time on the right things.

So why are you toying with the kids in Cupertino?  iPad is not a competitor.  It’s just ANOTHER revenue source.  I actually buy more from you because of the iPad!  I bet others have also.  Sure I use the iPad for quick 10 minute reads – but it’s the Kindle that I cuddle up with.

Take a hint from the 37 Signals, the clan behind Basecamp, Highrise, and Backpack;  They regularly tell people to pound salt whenever a new software feature is requested.  They are fearless. They believe that “Less is More” with every fiber of their being.  Mozy on down to the warehouse and pick-up a copy of Rework to see what I’m talking about…

Wait a second! You’re the SOLE investor in 37 Signals! Geez then you should know better.

You Don’t Want to Mess with Steve

Steve Jobs is waiting for you and he’ll win. He knows that the iPad sucks as a reader (and he’ll discover that your Brand can go toe-to-toe with Apple any day).  He knows that the Kindle is deliciously appealing to people who truly love reading. He’s content with making billions from the hardware and goading unwitting competitors (Adobe, maybe – you) into fighting on his turf.  He’s a master – remember he’s been sparing against Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HP, Sony for years.

Just a suggestion, if you want to fight iPad with Kindle then give your Tribe real ammunition. We rule the social media playground. Teach us about ePaper.  Give us tidbits about the reading experience.  Put us in videos and let us wax poetic about our love affair with the Kindle.  Go Social baby – We got this.

Listen…if you want to warn Steve off…then make the Kindle reading experience irresistible.  Remember, Your tribe doesn’t  want to play games, surf the web, or download apps on the Kindle.

We just want to read – it’s really that simple.

Sincerely,
Your Tribe

 Mr Bezos   Amazon is Making a Big Mistake   : Blog Promotion


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  • http://www.quixoticjourney.com/ Anthony McCloskey

    Hear Hear Sir! I could not have said this better myself and I could not agree more. I hate it when companies feel the need to turn a really good specialty device into a device that tries to be everything to everyone. I for one am not a big fan of the Kindle, I think the Nook is far superior, but the point is they are e-Readers. They are intended for people who love reading, and they really should be competing with each other, and the Sony Reader and leave the iPad out of it. The iPad is a completely separate device.

  • http://www.quixoticjourney.com/ Anthony McCloskey

    Hear Hear Sir! I could not have said this better myself and I could not agree more. I hate it when companies feel the need to turn a really good specialty device into a device that tries to be everything to everyone. I for one am not a big fan of the Kindle, I think the Nook is far superior, but the point is they are e-Readers. They are intended for people who love reading, and they really should be competing with each other, and the Sony Reader and leave the iPad out of it. The iPad is a completely separate device.

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford Smith

    Mike, I actually agree with you. I am a big fan of the Kindle app. It's a very smart strategic move that said “We understand that you want to read your books on the device of your choice – go for it!” Actually this was an elegant and “brand positive” way to respond to iBooks (an Ipad app). On the other hand, hiring legions of programmers and hardware experts to create the iPad killer is clunky and potentially dangerous.

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford Smith

    This could be the case. It just seems to be an awfully expensive gamble. If he is going to go head to head with Apple, it will muddy his brand story with a Hardware segue that doesn't seem to make sense. The Amazon Brand is about an uncanny talent for customer service. Dabbling in a hardware arms race will distract rather than help.

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford Smith

    Mike, I actually agree with you. I am a big fan of the Kindle app. It's a very smart strategic move that said "We understand that you want to read your books on the device of your choice – go for it!" Actually this was an elegant and "brand positive" way to respond to iBooks (an Ipad app). On the other hand, hiring legions of programmers and hardware experts to create the iPad killer is clunky and potentially dangerous.

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford Smith

    This could be the case. It just seems to be an awfully expensive gamble. If he is going to go head to head with Apple, it will muddy his brand story with a Hardware segue that doesn't seem to make sense. The Amazon Brand is about an uncanny talent for customer service. Dabbling in a hardware arms race will distract rather than help.

  • Mike Weinberg

    I'm with Chris. Truth be told, Amazon doesn't want to be and doesn't need to be in the hardware business. The Kindle app for the iPad is the key to selling as much content as possible. Money ain't in the hardware, it's the content revenue stream that drops $ to the bottom line…over and over and over. Bezos gets to stand back and watch the manufacturers duke it out while he sells profitable content for their machines! Watch the pricing and margins on all these devices go south as this Christmas approaches.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Not sure I agree, and here's why. I think that the Kindle-for-iPad means he can downshift out of the hardware world, and that his move to put a Kindle on the playing field was just a way to get MANY people to build hardware. That's not core to Bezos's business. It's a delivery tool.

    Now that Apple and several Android players are coming out? I'm thinking he's the smarter of the two.

  • Mike Weinberg

    I'm with Chris. Truth be told, Amazon doesn't want to be and doesn't need to be in the hardware business. The Kindle app for the iPad is the key to selling as much content as possible. Money ain't in the hardware, it's the content revenue stream that drops $ to the bottom line…over and over and over. Bezos gets to stand back and watch the manufacturers duke it out while he sells profitable content for their machines! Watch the pricing and margins on all these devices go south as this Christmas approaches.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Not sure I agree, and here's why. I think that the Kindle-for-iPad means he can downshift out of the hardware world, and that his move to put a Kindle on the playing field was just a way to get MANY people to build hardware. That's not core to Bezos's business. It's a delivery tool. Now that Apple and several Android players are coming out? I'm thinking he's the smarter of the two.