Amazon Reader Opinions

    November 19, 2007

Seth Godin: “You won’t find me on Amazon’s new book reader.”

Rex Hammock: “I’d rather have an iPod Touchbook.”

Mathew Ingram: WTF?

Jeremy Toeman: It will fail.

My thoughts?

That Jeremy is probably right. I’m excited about the new reader to be sure. But getting geeks like me excited by a new “shiny toy” is pretty easy. Getting a large market excited? That’s a LOT harder.

Why am I excited by this? Because it brings some very real advances to devices. Is it too expensive? For many people, yes. But one thing I’ve learned is that if something in the technology industry is too expensive today just stay alive for a few years. I remember when Steve Wozniak had a color printer that cost $40,000 that today’s $70 printers are better than.

For $400 this device is pretty damn remarkable. It can be read out in bright sunlight (my $3,000 Mac can’t do that). Its battery lasts dozens of hours. It’s a joy to use for the stated purpose: reading.

I do agree with Seth and Mathew: I really wish they had found a way to give away a stack of books and other content (including blogs). I told them almost the exact same thing Seth did and, yes, my words were just as unsuccessful at hitting the mark.

That said, even if Jeff Bezos turns out to be a failure here this device will push the market simply by getting you all to consider a world where you read your books off of a screen rather than off of paper. To me that’s interesting.

One other thing I told the team? Get Google Reader onto this thing. In fact, I tried to get my link blog onto it instead of just my blog (and I pitched them to include TechMeme, Digg, and Slashdot, among others, on it). We’ll see later today what they decided, but I don’t think they got the link blog onto it.