Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kindle Sells Out: 5 Reasons Amazon Shouldn't Celebrate - PCWorld

Kindle Sells Out: 5 Reasons Amazon Shouldn't Celebrate - PCWorld

This article was somewhat confusing to me. His points don't make sense to me.

1. Watch out for falling profits.
It's true that the Kindle price has dropped from it's initial price of $359, but that does not mean that the company is making $170 less on each one. It means the revenue has dropped by that amount, but profit is based on the cost to produce the product. The $170 drop in price may not be any less profitable. It may will be less than it was the day before the price was dropped, but I would expect that there was a sliding scale. At first the product cost x to produce and they sold for $359. Over time the price to produce dropped and their profit margin rose, until they dropped their price. I think it's true that they dropped their price due to the competitive price from the Nook, but I don't think that they are eating cost on each one. That information is not known to me, but it doesn't mean that Amazon shouldn't celebrate. Jeff Bezos knows what's going on there, and he knows whether or not he can celebrate.

2. Is $189 Still Too Expensive?
If Amazon was fine selling their device for $359 why would they care if $189 is too expensive? Studies may show that the best seller price for e readers is in the range of $50 to $99, but that doesn't mean that's what Amazon is after. BMW isn't. They don't build cheap cars, it doesn't stop them from making money. Also if $189 is eating into their profits, wouldn't $99 eat into that even more? Amazon has reported that they've tripled sales since dropping to $189. It may not be low enough for everyone, but it has clearly crossed some kind of threshold that's let them extend their cusomer base by quite a bit.

3. Sales Stats Unknown.
While it's true that I don't know the sales stats or the profit of a single Kindle, that doesn't make it a reason for Amazon not to celebrate. Amazon knows that information. I don't know if I should celebrate, Amazon knows if it should celebrate.

4. About the iPad
I have never considered an e-Reader as a competitor to a tablet. The iPad has blown me away with what it's capable of doing and having seen it in action I want one. But I don't want it as a replacement for my eReader. They are separate for me. I love the e-ink solution of the Kindle, the battery will last for weeks with wireless turned off. I can take my notes and buy books directly from the Kindle when I want to, but I don't have to synchronize. There is no power saving package that I could turn on with the iPad that would let the batter last more than one day. The iPad is awesome, but just like reading on a computer screen my eyes hurt after a while. I'd rather read on the Kindle than the iPad. With both devices I would definitely choose to only take the iPad in some instances and use it to read my books. However, that doesn't hurt Amazon, because it's still a eBook that they sold to me. I'm not even sure that the Kindle DX is a competitor to the iPad, at least not yet. It may be made somewhat obsolete by the iPad, if newspapers can provide a new medium that take advantage of the interactivity of the iPad. If that were to happen the Kindle DX would be useless, but for now it's not. I'm really not sure what the future of the Kindle DX is.

5. Beware the Multifunction Devices.
I own a Kindle and a Droid. I have the Kindle app for the Droid. I don't consider it a replacement for the Kindle. If I'm somewhere without my Kindle (which is rare), I can pop open a book real quick and take advantage of a few minutes to read. I would never consider my phone a replacement though. The screen being on drains the battery way too fast, and I'd rather keep that life of my batter for things like phone calls and text messages. Besides, it's rare that I have time to read when I don't also have emails that I need to follow up on. I can use my phone to do those other things and wait until I am back near my Kindle to read on it. But in a pinch it does work. And I like that I can keep a copy of my favorite book with me on my phone for referencing.

My disappointment lies in every argument. None of them show that there is a problem with the Kindle. And they don't provide a single reason that Amazon shouldn't celebrate.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A real triple crown candidate?

Miguel Cabrera may be a real triple crown candidate.  I've not seen a triple crown in my lifetime, and there have been a few times in the past that I thought there was a chance, but this year Cabrera has a very high average and that seems to be the one category that the home run hitters lack. 

I think there is a very good shot at triple crown with him and if it's still a possibility at the end of August the mainstream media will start talking about it.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Chocolate may cause depression

Chocolate may cause depression | Psych Central News

The article is more detailed than the heading. The heading alone would make one think that Chocolate is the cause of depression, when it is more likely that chocolate is just a comfort food that depressed people turn to.

It could be that the body wants a certain amount of good feeling in it, and if it's not getting it then it may cause cravings for a food that does provide that. Chocolate just happens to be that food. The more depressed you are, the more you need to chocolate.

Studies like this are interesting, but when the results can be interpreted in different ways you have to take them with a grain of salt.   All we really know is that depressed people are eating chocolate.  Why is open for interpretation.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lebron James

The Lebron James race has begun.  NBA teams are falling over themselves to get Lebron James to come to their team.  Money is not going to be the selling point.  There are several teams that have enough salary cap room to offer him the max amount possible, so other than staying where he is in Cleveland the possibility of earning more money won't be enticing.

How do you sell your team to Lebron James?  First you have to have the pieces to compliment his game in order to win a championship.  Second I think you need a track record of being able to at least make the playoffs.  Third you need intangibles.  The city, the fans, the arena, the amenities.  I think these actually have something to do with where he will play.  I've given up on watching basketball since Jordan left the Bulls, but Lebron coming to Chicago would be enough to make me interested in catching a few games again.

I don't know the NBA well enough to know which team has the inside edge.  I don't think it's Cleveland because even though they can offer him more money individually I don't think he has as many of the intangible opportunities in Cleveland.  And the team may have been the best in the division last season with him, but without him they would not have been very good, he elevated that team a lot.  It also does not sound like Cleveland is planning to do much to bring one of the other big free agents in to help them get over the hump and win that elusive championship.

I think Lebron James is more like a game of roulette at the moment.  Each team has different intangibles to offer. Place your bets and wait for the ball to stop bouncing.