August 4, 2010

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the iPad has started a tidal wave of change in the world of publishing. Last week, Amazon (www.Amazon.com) announced it was introducing a new, cheaper Kindle, only $139. This follows their decision to reduce the price of existing Kindles. Many people now believe that Amazon is losing money on almost every Kindle it sells (no they won’t make it up on volume).
Why would Amazon sell a product at a loss? It’s all about the future. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes that if they can capture only “serious readers” – about 10% of the population – they have a potential market of 30 million people just in the U.S.  When you have sold less than 4 million Kindles (Wall St. Journal 8.30.10), you’ve got plenty of room for growth.  But Amazon knows they need to move fast. The iPad already has nearly 4 million users. Don’t be surprised if someone like Amazon decides to give e-readers free to major libraries, so they can loan them out and introduce thousands of serious readers to a new product.
What is the lesson for small business? As I state throughout my book (www.powershiftmarketingbook.com), don’t get totally focused on today’s profits. You need to keep your eye on the future, where the market is going. Of course, embracing change in a slow economy where you are fighting to stay alive is easier said then done. But right now, a lot of businesses are taking the steps needed to be future market leaders when the economy soars. Are you? At your next staff meeting, why not brainstorm ways you can lead the market, not just follow it.

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