Easily the smartest piece I’ve read so far this year. What’s more I think it’s so good it’ll hold that title until the end of the year too. This just a flavour:

I don’t believe that B&N has fully tuned into the economics of working in a network environment. For all the talk of the democratization of the Internet and the Long Tail, network economies tend to be winner-takes-all. Amazon is fast approaching a position where it becomes a virtual monopoly like other tech giants before it — Microsoft with Windows and Office, Facebook with social networking, Google for Web search, and Apple (through iTunes) for music consumption. All of these monopolies reach a plateau at some point, where other products and services begin to restructure the paradigm (e.g., the role of Cloud computing and mobile telephony in eroding Windows’ base), but while the party lasts, it is one heck of a profitable ride. It is far more urgent for B&N to prevent Amazon from reaching that point than it is for B&N to strive to achieve that point itself. B&N should be hell-bent on destroying the e-book paradigm, not on trying to control it.

via How Barnes & Noble Can Take a Bite Out of Amazon « The Scholarly Kitchen.

[Via Eoin Purcell’s blog]


  1. Basing your entire business model and betting the company on the strategy that *most* hurts the industry leader? Yeah, right.
    How about betting the company on meeting user needs and making a decent profit?

    The ABA crowd keep coming up with these grandiose “magic bullet” plans for *somebody else* to destroy Amazon but you never see *them* commit *their* livelihood to the grand anti-Amazon jihad.

    And, B&N?
    Haven’t read the news lately?
    B&N has bigger problems than Amazon these days and all indications are they are self-inflicted.
    B&N isn’t going to be implementing any suicide attacks on fort Amazon any time soon. They need to get back to the serious business of balancing the checkbook and figuring out what to do with Nook.

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