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Jeff Bezos Interview with Charlie Rose

This morning I decided to catch up on how things are going with the Kindle. I'm still fascinated by the way that is positioning it on their site given the short supply, but I do think the product is pretty cool.

On the Kindle "learn more" page, Amazon has an episode of the Charlie Rose Show where Charlie interviewed founder Jeff Bezos. The first half of the interview is all about the Kindle, and it's pretty informative. It's a lot of PR, but Jeff does a great job explaining the product and why they created it. Charlie is enamored by it, and he obviously knows Jeff pretty well personally.

The second half of the interview is about the Internet, Amazon's business and is the usual Charlie Rose fare. It's very good. Jeff reiterates a lot of his business philosophy, and it is right on target in my opinion. At about the 35:06 point, while discussing the Internet's impact on business and society, Jeff makes the following statement:

In the old days, businesses might have relied on customers being unknowledgeable for part of their profit stream. Maybe they charged a price that was a little higher than their competitors and they knew that. But they also knew it was difficult for their customers to do price checks. Guess what? That isn't going to work anymore! 

So the balance of power shifts from companies and toward consumers because of this perfect information flow that you have on the Internet. It's great for society. In fact, in my view... It's even great for companies that recognize it and embrace it.

This is absolutely true. Jeff goes on to talk about the fact that, historically, companies have spent twice as much time and energy distributing and marketing their products as they do developing them. Now, the key to success is reversing that equation -- spending more time and energy on getting the product right. The distribution and marketing investment is eased because the Internet allows immediate and free communication about products.

If you build a great product or service, people will talk about it. But it starts with having something that's worth talking about.

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