We can't ride on books and music and video forever
Popular blogger Steve Yegge talked about his former employer, Amazon.com, in a recent keynote at O'Reilly's OSCON: "What word comes to mind when you think of Amazon.com? Books. I worked at Amazon for seven years and it pains me to hear that but, yes, books. Books. And it's because Bezos said, 'Well, I'm going to make the Earth's biggest bookstore.' So that's what we think of. Now Jeff is a brilliant, brilliant man and he did an amazing job of branding it as 'books,' and then one day a couple of years later, he told us in an all hands—and this wasn't secret, but it's important for us to know—he said, 'We can't ride on books and music and video forever.' Why? Because they're all digitizable. Who buys a CD in China right now? They have to move into hard lines. They have to move into clothes and auctions and all this other stuff. They have to move into services. They have to, right? Because in the fullness of time—and Bezos is quite the visionary—he thinks no one is going to buy books anymore. And if your brand is tied to something that's dying then the brand is no good anymore." Watch a video of the keynote, and get some more background on its circumstances in Yegge's blog entry, "How To Make a Funny Talk Title Without Using The Word 'Weasel.'"