Archive for November, 2011
I rarely write a new gadget “un-boxing” experience but feel compelled to share my experiense starting to use the Kindle Fire. Full disclouse I am a big Amazon fan-boy. I have been using Amazon Prime since it was first offered, been pioneering on the Amazon Web Services cloud for over 4 years, and the UPS person probably delivers an Amazon box to my house one to two times a week. Amazon Kindle Fire is the intersection of Amazon Store, Amazon Prime, and Amazon Cloud.
This morning I have just returned from a visit to our UK office in Bracknell, and while travelling I tried to use my iPad 2 extensively, so the rapid shift to Kindle Fire will be a great compare and contrast time.
Kindle Fire is shipped in Amazon’s new, unique, environmentally friendly packaging system. Most of Amazon’s small electronics are now shipped in a plain-looking cardboard box that acts as both the shipping vehicle and the packaging. It’s hard to explain until you see it yourself. Pull a tab to open the package and no there is finger-cutting plastic or hassles of extra cardboard to cut through. Contrast to Apple that prides itself on elegant packaging, which I can also appreciate. But let’s face it… the package is seen once and usually never again unless the device is sold. Apple feels they can justify the elegant packaging as part of their branding, but I’m sure the cost of Apple devices are higher because the packaging is more expensive. While Apple famously reminds you upon opening their goodies “Designed in California, Made in China,” Amazon could easily claim ”Designed in the Cloud, Made in China.”
Long overdue rant relating recent experiences with group-buying services like Groupon, Living Social, Open Table, etc. Over the past few years I been lured to buy a coupon for a good or a service to get that rush for scoring “get a great deal.”
When the coupon is for a product, I have a great experience. The most recent was a 40% discount on a 2′ x 3′ printed canvas from a digital image file. The vendor delivered as advertised and I was thrilled with the results.
But when the coupon is for a discount on a service that will be performed by another individual, I have experienced a very disappointing buying experience. As the buyer, I feel a stigma from the provider because the service they are performing is at a dramatically reduced price compared to the “retail price.” A recent negative restaurant experience turned me off to using a coupon service ever again for a meal. The waiter made a big deal about redeeming the coupon, and was vocally insistent I commit to “tipping” on the retail price and not the discount. It just felt really uncomfortable. I sense a “remorse” from the vendors that offer a service in a coupon deal. They really don’t want to honor their part of the bargain.
Buying a product with a coupon is a dispassionate interaction with a website. Buying a service is an uncomfortable interaction with another person who sneers with a “you pay for what you get” poor attitude.
So buyer beware when the coupon deal is for a lesson, a haircut, a fortune-telling (yes really) or a meal. Instead enjoy the savings from a product purchase where there is no judgment passed by the seller.
Status: arrive London, can’t get gsm working on my CDMA “world phone” … Plan b – use Skype on iPad #thefuturenow ?