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Technology & Innovation

Books After Amazon

What happens when an industry concerned with the production of culture is beholden to a company with the sole goal of underselling competitors?

Amazon’s ascendance no doubt is a function of its nontraditional ways. Though neither a publisher nor strictly-speaking a bookseller, it has become the world’s largest retailer of books in any form. And it has done so as a software company that offers great deals on Vienna sausages as well as hardbacks. Bezos’s customers come for the low prices, not to fondle, sniff, or otherwise interact with the product. The most one can do is “browse” some pages electronically. Bezos thinks pleasing the customer is all that matters, and his strategy—nearly endless inventory at rock-bottom prices—is working.


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