Want to Compete With Amazon? Slate Has Some Advice

Slate has an article about the best way to beat the Kindle in the eBook market.  Their arguments are fairly compelling.  They compare the eBook market to mp3 players, as both represented the transition from traditional media to a digital form.  In terms of eReaders, the Kindle has the role of the iPod.  Both devices broke out early in their respective markets due to a cleverly designed service and smart marketing.  Since no competitor was ever able to touch the iPod, Amazon’s competitors need to figure out where Apple’s competitors went wrong.

The article comes away with 2 main suggestions:

1. “Beat the Kindle on features, not on price.”  The iPod stayed ahead by continually reinventing itself.  An eReader that completely dwarfed the Kindle in features would have a chance.  Maybe. Except for…

2. “Service matters more than the device itself.”  The Kindle beat the Sony Reader because it had the Kindle bookstore.  Any competitor will have to beat the entire platform.