TKC 208 Jeff Bezos

News – Amazon announces that second-quarter earnings fell by a whopping 96 percent compared with last year’s quarter, but the stock price goes up. Stephen Windwalker explains why.

Tech Tips - All about X-Ray on the Kindle Touch, including a video clip from the Amazon press conference last fall. Also, how to sideload a photo from your computer to your Kindle Fire.

Interview (starts at 11:45) - On the very day of this podcast’s fourth anniversary, I had the chance yesterday, July 26th, to interview Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, at the company’s headquarters here in Seattle. He told me what the biggest surprise has been in the seven years since early design work began for the Kindle, and he explained why he thinks there will always be a role for purpose-built reading devices. Plus: what’s up with Stephen King, why missionaries make better products than mercenaries, and much more.

Content – Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust Rediscoveries series is a heart-warming project for anyone who loves books, and you’ll hear all about it in next week’s double-length interview with Nancy which I just finished recording here at the hotel in Seattle. Meanwhile, I hope you will check out the first two books of the series, now available for purchase and delivery–A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller and After Life by Rhian Ellis–as well as these two that you can pre-order for delivery later this year: Fool by Frederick G. Dillon and The Last Night at the Ritz by Elizabeth Savage. On my Kindle Fire, I’m enjoying His Girl Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

My thanks to all my listeners whose support and feedback have made doing this podcast every week for four years an amazing journey. And thanks to the team at Amazon, and their happy dogs–you’ll find out why in my intro to the interview–for daring to be misunderstood long enough to change the way we read.

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Comments 11

  1. Cory wrote:

    Outstanding interview Len! Congratulations on the 4 year anniversary looking forward to the next 4!

    Posted 27 Jul 2012 at 3:05 pm
  2. Bob Cope wrote:

    Bought my first kindle immediately after I watched Charlie Rose interview Jeff Besos about the kindle a looooong time ago….Will be interested to see how you did, Len! Congrats on 4 years!

    Posted 27 Jul 2012 at 4:36 pm
  3. Julie wrote:

    Dear Len and Jeff,

    I have a Kindle Keyboard (#2, #1 died an untimely death on my part out of warranty) and am recuperating from minor surgery today. In my post-anesthesia haze I just bought a Kindle Touch, thanks two the of you. My daughter will be pleased. She’ll get the Keyboard. ;)

    Posted 27 Jul 2012 at 7:07 pm
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Julie, I hope you recover quickly from your surgery. I passed along your comment to my contacts at Amazon, so they will know Jeff should spend more time talking to The Kindle Chronicles, to promote Kindle sales! :-) Thanks for your note.

    Posted 27 Jul 2012 at 7:13 pm
  5. Julie wrote:

    Len, he is a true ambassador for his products. The kind of salesman you don’t mind buying from because he (and the company) clearly stand behind their products.

    Side note: when I went for my pre-op I had a PDF of medical history on my K3 that they xeroxed for my records :)

    Posted 27 Jul 2012 at 7:56 pm
  6. Eolake wrote:

    Very well done.

    I would miss the kindle Chronicles if you were to retire. It is my favourite podcast, head and shoulders above the others.

    Do you have a link to the “Ramonk” (sp?) song on tuba?

    Posted 28 Jul 2012 at 9:37 am
  7. Len Edgerly wrote:

    No worries, Eolake! My chat with Jeff renewed my passion for this work, so I’m ready for another year, at least! Here is the link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cNOKj8xpvts%5D

    Posted 28 Jul 2012 at 10:51 am
  8. Marie Sotiriou wrote:

    Len

    Thanks for 4 years of intelligent and informative Kindle podcasts!

    Great interview this week with Jeff Bezos! His enthusiasm and evangelism for the Kindle was fun to listen to. Did you ever believe 4 years ago that you would get the opportunity to interview such a diverse and interesting list of guests? Starting with Baratunde Thurston, and including people like Margaret Atwood, Sam Tanenhaus, and now Jeff Bezos.

    I ordered my first Kindle within a couple of weeks of the the preliminary announcement and had to wait quite a while for them to be back in stock. Your podcast was one of the few sources of Kindle information for us early adopters. Back in those days I would spend more time on my train ride to work explaining what a Kindle was and how cool it was instead of actually reading on it! Now I get on the train and Kindles are everywhere!

    Amazon and Apple both share one key attribute – their excellence in customer service. I would feel comfortable buying anything from them, knowing that they stand behind their products. I always tell people to buy their Kindles directly from Amazon since any unexpected problems are always quickly resolved.

    Thanks again for all your work on the podcasts!
    Marie

    Posted 28 Jul 2012 at 1:44 pm
  9. LCaution wrote:

    Good interview. Since the Fire is my first experience with an e-reader, I have mixed feelings about the need for both a tablet & an e-reader.

    Size: with the cover I bought, the Fire is at the limits of comfort for reading. It’s about the size and weight of a thick paperback. I can’t imagine reading a book on a larger tablet.

    SW – don’t know what the top-end Kindle sw is like, but the Fire’s book management is really weak. There’s no way to categorize books (which even the PC version of Kindle can do) and downloading non-Amazon books, even public domain books, is a major hassle.

    So, given that the Kindle e-readers are smaller, lighter and have longer battery life, and on the assumption that there is a decent library function, I can see where a dedicated e-reader has advantages over a multi-purpose tablet. And Bezos, no doubt, would like customers to own two Kindle products.

    But when I’m reading a book on the Fire, I often find myself jumping (usually but not always through the search function) to the Web for more information about something. And I don’t much care for the idea of having, say, a Touch and a Fire by my side so when I’m reading on the Touch and want to do something only possible on the Fire, I have to set the one down & pick the other up.

    Finally, e-books vs. real books. I hate the location numbers. I hate not being able to tell how far into a book I am by sight. And I simply cannot sink into an e-book the way I can sink into a real book. The technology is too distracting.

    But, I’ve also just about run out of physical space for real books (bookcases everywhere, books stacked on the floor), so I have made the following decision. First, no more buying real books that are in the public domain. Second, decide if the book’s quality is such (thanks, of course to the sample option) that it deserves a physical place on an overloaded bookcase or if the advantages of, say electronic highlighting & web access, make an e-book more practical. Third: cost. Probably 90% of the books I’ve bought in the past decade have been half-priced used paperbacks. The used bookstores in my neighborhood exceed by orders of magnitude (in numbers & quality of offerings) Amazon’s low-priced offerings.

    Maybe if used e-books (half-price) become ubiquitous, I will alter my criteria.

    But that’s where I am today. It will be interesting to see where Amazon is, say, 5 years from now.

    Posted 28 Jul 2012 at 4:45 pm
  10. Jael wrote:

    I really enjoyed the interview!

    I’ve always been a reader and had been wanting a Kindle from day one. I succumbed with the Oprah discount and was lucky enough to get my order in early that day to have my original Kindle in my hands in a very few days. What a wonderful device putting a world of books instantly in my hand! No more lugging a sack of books on vacation, no more reading outdated magazines in dr’s offices – my entire library was with me in my purse.

    These days I have a Kindle 3, but I probably read just as much on my smartphone using the Kindle app. Waiting for something to come out of the microwave? Standing in line to check out at the grocery store? The phone comes out of my pocket and I read a few pages knowing that when I pick up my Kindle, it will be sync’d to the exact spot.

    Thanks, Jeff Bezos, for all the enjoyment!

    Posted 29 Jul 2012 at 10:40 am
  11. Kevin Eagan wrote:

    What an excellent interview, Len! It’s interesting to hear how Jeff Bezos uses his products, not just how he sees them fitting a market or business perspective.

    After this interview, how do you plan to top it a year from now, with the 5-year anniversary? Looking forward to hearing more :)

    Posted 31 Jul 2012 at 2:43 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 3

  1. From Exclusive: Our own Len Edgerly interviews Amazon’s Jeff Bezos live in the KND Kindle Chronicles Interview | Kindle Nation Daily on 29 Jul 2012 at 11:31 am

    [...] can hear his interview with Jeff Bezos in its entirety at 11:45 of this week’s Kindle Chronicles episode 208.   Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Buzz it up Share on Linkedin share [...]

  2. From Turned Leaf » Blog Archive » Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . . on 08 Aug 2012 at 7:21 am

    [...] to prove that . . . Hey, I won the Wizbang! caption contest two weeks ago . . . Loved listening to Bezos interview with Kindle Chronicles . . . I challenge one to tell me what hours the Millville Public Library is open. I can’t [...]

  3. From The Kindle Chronicles - Love Your Kindle? Try Taking it for a Deep Read in a Room Made of Salt on 08 Jan 2013 at 10:36 am

    [...] don’t think there is much reason to worry, though. I have heard from Jeff Bezos himself that Amazon understands the importance of dedicated eReaders. I don’t know if [...]

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