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Ten Quotes about Amazon (it’s complicated!)

It’s Friday, so let’s have ten quotes about Amazon, just to remind us what we already know… that it’s complicated:

1.  “Amazon are evil bastards – I loathe them, I fear them, but I use them all the time because they’re wonderful and that’s part of the problem.”

Anthony Horowitz, Writer (Digital Minds Conference 2014)

2. “With paper printed books, you have certain freedoms. You can acquire the book anonymously by paying cash, which is the way I always buy books. I never use a credit card. I don’t identify to any database when I buy books. Amazon takes away that freedom.”

Richard Stallman, Software Freedom Activist and Computer Programmer

3. “The terrible thing about the Internet and Amazon is that they take the magic and happy chaos out of book shopping. The Internet might give you what you want, but it won’t give you what you need.”

Tom Hodgkinson, The Idler

4. “Amazon drove Borders out of business, and the vast majority of Borders employees are not qualified to work at Amazon. That’s an actual, full-on problem. But should Amazon have been prevented from doing that? In my view, no.”

Marc Andreessen, American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer

5. “Writers now are putting total faith in designers at Apple and Amazon. It’s almost like a race-car driver having no input into how cars are designed.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, Writer

6. “Which is the healthier kind of literary diversity: an un-gate-kept self-published book world, run substantially through Amazon? Or our current book world, which is part-gate-kept, part-not, with many different publishers and retailers and platforms? I’m not smart enough to figure it out, but if I had to guess I’d guess the latter.”

Lev Grossman, American novelist and journalist

7. “There are lots of things about Amazon for which they deserve credit. They’re innovative. There are lots of very, very happy Amazon customers. I’m not here to dispute that Amazon has been personally good for me or to say that they haven’t been, so far, good to their customers.”

Scott Turow, American writer and lawyer

8. “To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator. The company claims to want a more literate world – and it came along when the book world was in distress, offering a vital new source of sales.”

George Packer, American journalist, novelist, and playwright

9. “Amazon thrived because it implemented the online bookstore idea better than any of its early rivals did, not because it was the only company to have the idea or the first company to have the idea. It continues to grow only because it keeps trying to improve on the details of the idea and the way it puts it into practice.”

Max McKeown, Behavioural Strategist

10. “If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.”

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon

Image Credit: Don McCullough (CC)

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