Speaking of Amazon’s outrage regarding Google’s class-action settlement, isn’t there a wee bit of irony in all this? I mean, Amazon’s core business — before it became the go-to site for spatulas and throw rugs — used to be…wait for it!…books.
Yes kids, that’s really true. Way back at the dawn of time (1995), Amazon’s great idea was to be an online bookstore, making pretty much every in-print book and many out-of-print books available nationwide. And it was a huge, huge success. So much so, that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, decided to sell every product known to mankind in much the same way.
Now the site is almost choking on customer-rated third-party offerings for everything under the sun, but back in the day it was lean and mean and super focused on books, books, books. And yet here we are with Amazon, the first internet book business, fighting like a cornered and/or rabid animal (I couldn’t decide) to keep from becoming a second-class player in the online/electronic book business.
And that seems more than a little ironic to me.
As an aside, note that Amazon has actually had one major success, and that’s transforming itself into the only reliable search engine for retail products on the internet. Google itself is a failed product when it comes to searches for specific items because Google returns hits that almost never actually link to the product or the price, or they link to that item as sold on Amazon.
So don’t think I’m pro-Google or anti-Amazon in any of this. Mostly I’m for great big companies not making my life more difficult by leveraging technology across my neck like a big mud-covered boot. And for world peace.
— Mark Barrett