Sunday, March 19, 2006

Of Amazon and storage media.

A couple of things came to my attention, and I do so love how foolish they both sound.

The first item on this list is the complaints that are cropping up around Amazon. It seems that they aren’t making the profits that Wall Street would like them make, so the stock market analysts are gnashing their teeth.

Their main complaint? Amazon isn’t focused. They look at the new sideline that Amazon is exploring of offering storage space online as well as their desire to market their search engine as a mistake because it isn’t the same thing that they’ve been doing (selling books, movies, etc). They’re also up in arms because Amazon is still in the investment stage – they’re still buying technology, infrastructure, etc.

The analysts on Wall Street don’t like this because it cuts into the short term profits of the company. Wall Street is also notorious for trying to kill new ideas because “they don’t make sense” (many of which work out quite well. The only people they don’t make sense for are the analysts looking for a quick buck.)

I’ve got news for the Wall Street crowd - they can go take a flying leap. Growing requires additional infrastructure and very few businesses survive with only one product unless it fills a very special niche. Guess what – book sales aren’t a niche business. With media companies trying to make the eventual transition to all-digital formats, it’s going to take new infrastructure to move them as well as other business models to make money lost from people like me who actually like physical media (paper books, dvds, cds, etc).

Of course, these are the same analysts who get up in arms with companies like Google who refuse to give them projections on what they expect to earn. They’ve tried threats there to get their way because they don’t want to have to actually think about what the company might be doing. I’m going to say that I’m quite happy that Google has told the analysts to go shove it, much like Coca-Cola did on the advice of Warren Buffet.

The best part of the Amazon thing? One of the loudest voices in this is also one of my least favorite because he Just. Doesn’t. Get. It. Who, you may ask? Nick Carr, author of “Does IT matter”.

Get over your fetish for short term profits at the expense of the future. Remove your head from your rear and actually think things out past how you’re going to pay for your next Porsche.

Item number 2 on the list – The “reincarnated floppy disc” being offered by Memorex and Verbatim.

“Reincarnated floppy disc?” you ask? It’s a USB memory stick shaped like one of the old 1970’s tapes.

I have to be honest, they look moderately nifty. You pull it apart and the USB dongle is revealed. Why, then do I think these are silly?

They only hold 16MB. That’s right. A whopping 16 megs and they look like they are about the size of three standard memory sticks laid side by side.

While they look cool, I can’t justify the bulk for only being able to pack 16MB around with me. I currently have 2 USB sticks (a 64 and a 256) and together they’d take up less space than this.

I just really can’t see these ones doing too well. They’re physically too big and too small storage wise.

Current mood: I love people
Current music: Duncan Sheik – She Runs Away

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