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Disrupting the book: What if Kindle was free?


Can the book be disrupted? It seems like piling on to write about Amazon’s new e-book device “Kindle.” Universally hated, except for the free EVDO. In general I’m in favor of single purpose network attached devices. For instance, I crave a Chumby. But the Kindle seems doomed to failure. How many attempts have been made in the e-book space? Of course, it’s not really an e-book, it’s an electronic text reader. A book is an entirely different experience.

Would I spend $400 to buy a device that would allow me to spend $10 more to download the text of a book? I think I’d prefer to read news and features on a device like that. If that’s true, how is it better than an iPhone?¬†Perhaps Kindle should be like a razor. Give it away and charge for the razor blades. I don’t know if that model would work, but it’s the only way it could gain wide acceptance.

Although we’re trained not to buy content, we ascribe the emotion of “wanting to be free” to it. Perhaps both the reader and text are free and supported by advertising. Macbeth, brought to you by Dawn dishwashing liquid. It’s tough on dirt, but gentle on your hands.

Published in culture innovation interaction design reading value

One Comment

  1. Yeah, I didn’t even travel down that free path – seems just madness to charge 4 bills for something that replaces something we’re pretty happy with. But yeah, if it was free, or even within reach, it’d probably stand a better chance.

    I think it needs to be flexible, so it sits nicely in a jacket pocket…

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