Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jeff Bezos on the Kindle and Innovation

Asked about the development process for the Kindle, Bezos responded (USN):
Companies can extend in at least two different ways. One, they can take an inventory of their skills and then they can say, "OK, with this set of skills, what else can we do?" That's kind of a skills-outward approach. Another way is to start with the customer needs and work backwards. Given our customers, you can say, "What needs do they have that we could fulfill, even if it requires us to develop new skills?" Kindle is an example that's firmly in that second camp. We have a large base of customers who love reading. How else can we make reading even easier for those customers, even if it requires us to develop new skills?
Many large firms cease to be innovative once they achieve achieve significant market share but the Kindle is a great new product from a company that had previously only provided an online marketplace. It's nice to see intrapraneurship at Amazon, unless of course you are Barnes and Noble or Borders. The article contains more on digital media in general and is worth a quick read.

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