Amazon and Xerox

In the news lately is the war between Amazon and publishers, and the NYT has an awesome detail piece on it.

Makes Amazon look very good I think, and Hachette look like a PR agency, and makes one worry about small publishers — it is unfortunate but they are likely to die and Amazon will hasten it.

Note: if you own Amazon shares you should feel very happy and optimistic. Won’t be so long now before this type of story is about Amazon’s impact on movie studios or razor makers and Costco or Comcast. Seriously. (Apparently “the great unbundling” also has network effects, and big huge winners do emerge.)

And finally compare Amazon’s situation to the Xerox vs Publishing Industry wars of the 1960s, an earlier installment of “technology will ruin our industry and destroy writing itself”.

Two lessons are top of mind, both from McLuhan writing THEN about photocopying:
– only technology can protect against technology, and
– [new tech] has made readers into authors and publishers too.

Changes everything, as they say.

Update from Fred Wilson’s post on the same NYT Amazon piece

But there is another aspect to the Internet that is not so comforting. And that is that the Internet is a network and the dominant platforms enjoy network effects that, over time, lead to dominant monopolies