eReaders, continued

We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about eReaders, so I thought this particular article was germane.  We receive Fast Company at the office and this month’s edition appears with Robert Scoble talking about early adopters and, wouldn’t you know it, the Kindle.

“… [this] nails the emerging meme that early adopters are overrated and hurt the companies that woo them. It’s no secret, of course, that I am one of these early adopters, or “passionates,” who eagerly embrace new tools and evangelize for our favorites. But leave me out of it. This idea that the tech industry should focus on the larger group of “nonpassionates” to the exclusion of passionates is ridiculous.

What’s so dangerous about dismissing passionates is that it suggests that tech companies are actually hurting themselves by listening to them. Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader has sold an estimated 240,000 units in its first nine months. Passionates are the ones who will buy an almost $400 gadget sight unseen. But Amazon is using its Kindlemaniacs to win the masses…

…Consider how much the world has changed in the past decade. When I started writing my blog back in 2000, professional athletes didn’t blog to communicate with their fans. Millions around the world didn’t post pictures on Flickr, because it didn’t exist. New tools are getting adopted faster than ever. YouTube turns 3 in December, and Twitter, just 2 ½, has already attracted firefighters and members of Congress to use the service. We’re finding more ways to express ourselves, more content to enjoy, and more ways to connect with friends. All of a sudden, we need FriendFeed to put these tools in one place. And that’s the power of the passionate.”

I embrace the power of the passionate–nowhere is it more evident than on the Better World Books fan page— but is passion going to outweigh the numerous flaws in the design of the Kindle or the outrageous expense of the more developed versions?

We shall see…


  1. DISCLAIMER: I am a techie.

    I don’t have a Kindle – but I have a Sony Reader. They are pretty cool but will never replace my first love…a good old fashioned book!

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