Amazon doesn’t have to guess what people want, it just has to wait for others to get it wrong. Amazon doesn’t innovate by crafting new product categories, like Apple does. It also doesn’t make much money selling its hardware. Instead, it takes all the data it gathers as the world’s biggest online retailer, breaks down exactly what’s available and what consumers want, then produces a piece of hardware that it can sell cheaply in order to bring consumers into its ecosystem.

David Pierce on Amazon Fire TV

And the thing I came to, thinking about this problem, was abundance breaks more things than scarcity. Society’s really good at managing scarcity. If something is really valuable but hard to do, we develop a profession and we have all these pricing models, blah, blah, blah. Once something becomes so cheap that it’s not worth metering anymore, that’s when real social change happens.

Clay Shirky, New York University professor

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