The economics of Kindle

Here are two short essay-lets.  I’ll admit to not yet having seen a Kindle, but I think it is not the wave of the future and not the next iPod.  The key feature of the iPod is the use of software to organize your music collection, not just the portability.  The (somewhat) comparable use of software for reading is RSS, but Kindle is not an efficient way of reading blogs, it is mostly designed for full-length titles.  (And if you really want to read your favorite blogs on RSS, while you walk around, the iPhone already allows that.)  Furthermore we want to hear our favorite songs many times, but the ability to call up again our favorite book is not of comparable value, again limiting the value of using software to organize our reading.  Plus a book takes longer to consume than does a song, so just carry the book you are reading instead of carrying Kindle.  Maybe Kindle is good for voracious readers who take long trips, and don’t want to buy books along the way, but can you build a market on that?

Here is one interesting review of the product, here is a very detailed and very pro-Kindle review.  I’m still a skeptic, at least until software takes on a larger role in reorganizing the reading experience. 


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