Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why the Kindle Will Flop

You're reading a blog, I assume you know what a Kindle is.
It's a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist.

It's too bad Jeff Bezos and his team didn't pay attention
to the speeches Voyageur founder Bob Stein gave back in
the 90s on Text, the New Frontier.

Text, unlike the other media, is self-contained (and can
be self-referential, but that doesn't apply here).

You don't need a device to play a book or magazine, just
a decent source of light.

The reasons iPods worked was because they were the first
elegant successor to the Discman and Walkman for digitally
encoded tunes. Music hasn't been self-contained since Edison
put an end to the sheet music industry (and even then
many people preferred their local orchestra or marching
band as a convenient device for converting instructions
to sounds, compared to their own playing). Film and
video will always need a device.

Printed books are so cheap there is little incentive in
finding a downloadable version of a book to bypass
purchasing it. And since the Kindle doesn't even load
HTML files, it won't even pick up that audience.

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