Flashback: Jeff Bezos compares the book to a horse ;)

Book Purists everywhere are probably scandalized. Thought it’d be interesting to look at some past interviews and see how they hold up now – First off is a MarketWatch interview with Jeff Bezos conducted on May 28th, 2008.

This an interesting interview overall, with Mr. Bezos talking to Stacey Delo at MarketWatch, and saying some interesting things -

  1. The main important feature of a book, in his opinion, is that it disappears in your hands while you’re reading it. 
  2. Kindle owners’ favorite feature seems to be WhisperNet. To be able to get a book within 60 seconds. 
  3. Physical books are not going to disappear.
  4. Sales are well beyond Amazon’s expectations (at that time – now they’re beyond Amazon’s wildest expectations). 
  5. Its interesting to note Mr. Bezos’ focus when he’s talking about price and value for customers (“in difficult economic circumstances, customers disproportionately value that”).
  6. Another snippet I really liked was -

    Taking a 2000 pound car to buy 5 pounds of stuff becomes really expensive.

Does the Kindle make physical books the equivalent of horses?

Well, we’re a long ways away from eReaders that could do that. Kindle 2 is hardly enough of an improvement to be talking about books as outdated. However, in 2-3 years, we might well have eReaders (Apple’s iBook, Kindle 4, Plastic Logic Color) that really make books seem as outdated as horse carriages.

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