What people were writing about the Kindle when it first came out –
Kindle 2007 – the Believers
- Steven Levy wrote a Newsweek cover story (he even won a journalism award for his article) –
We chop down trees, transport them to plants, mash them into pulp, move the pulp to another factory to press into sheets, ship the sheets to a plant to put dirty marks on them, then cut the sheets and bind them and ship the thing around the world. “Do you really believe that we’ll be doing that in 50 years?” he asks.
The answer is probably not, and that’s why the Kindle matters. “This is the most important thing we’ve ever done,” says Jeff Bezos.
- Etan Horowitz at Hartford Courant -
In the six months I’ve been writing a personal-technology column, only two devices I’ve brought into the office have caused colleagues to crowd around my desk in excitement: the iPhone and the product I reviewed this week, the Kindle, an electronic book reader from Amazon.com
- Mike Elgan at ComputerWorld -
This week, I set out to deflate the hype about Amazon’s new Kindle e-book reader and to tell you why it will fail. But while researching this column, I became convinced of the opposite: Kindle is revolutionary and will succeed in the market.
There weren’t really that many people who thought it would succeed.
Kindle 2007 – the Skeptics
- Alexander Grundner of eHomeUpgrade -
I believe the only way eBooks are ever going to take off, and replace physical books, is if they adopt an open format that’s interoperable on a variety of devices and can be shared with friends and passed down to family
- Jeremy Toeman of LIVEdigitally -
Seth Godin writes “The challenge that my hero Jeff Bezos has is that if he’s really really lucky, he’ll sell a million of these things in a year.” I think he’s missing about 5+ “really”s here. If he’s lucky he’ll sell 50,000 in a year, really lucky is 100,000, and really really lucky is about 200K. Moving 7 figures worth of hardware per year is VERY VERY hard! VERY hard. And that’s in an established category, let alone a speculative one.
- Martin Lynch of the Inquirer -
Instead, we got the Kindle, quite possibly the ugliest piece of consumer technology launched in recent years. I actually spat my tea at my defenseless PC monitor when I read one story that heralded it as the ‘iPod of ebook Readers’. I mean, who would have thought that an ugly calculator from the 1970s could be the Messiah for ebooks?
- Nicholas Carr explained Why Kindle is no iPod -
There is no big, readymade supply of content for the Kindle. It arrives in your hands naked and empty …
So the Kindle, unlike the iPod, has a huge mountain to climb. Amazon has to create demand not only for the device but for the content that fills the device …
For the Kindle to be the “iPod of reading,” it would have had to have been preceded by a “Napster of reading.” And, of course, it wasn’t.
Perhaps 70% of articles, if not higher, were highly skeptical of the Kindle and its chances.
Kindle 2007 – Notable Thoughts
- Mark Pilgrim quotes from 1984 and predicts the 1984 incident in his Future of Reading in 6 Acts.
- Andy Greenberg at Forbes -
As such electronic books hit the mainstream, will they transform the publishing industry the way that the iPod has transformed the music business? Wait for Kindle 2.0, or for Apple to invent something far more fun.
- Peter Glaskowsky at CNet -
I wasn’t surprised to see that Amazon is suddenly the world’s best place to buy e-books. Most New York Times bestsellers and other new releases are $9.99 or less