Dear Jeff Bezos, I owe you an apology.

Dear Jeff Bezos,

I owe you an apology. When the iPad first came out in April 2010 I taunted you and told you that the Kindle had seen it’s last days. I might have even said a few other nasty things too. At the time, I just couldn’t understand how a retailer could even begin to understand something like a tablet. And, now you’ve gone and proved me wrong.

I purchased a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I was curious and frankly all the bad press you were getting about the Fire made me wonder… why does everyone hate Jeff? Could it be that laugh? So, I just had to try the Fire Kindle.

WOW! Sure I’m impressed by the product. But, what’s really impressive and what everyone else is missing is that you practically reinvented the Kindle from May 2010 to November 2011 when you began shipping Kindle Fires to customers. That tells me that you’re not a retailer. Sure you’ll say: but what about EC2? Yeah, I know, but it’s not like you can actually see and touch EC2, it’s just a cloud. With the Fire I can actually touch and see what you’ve done. And what you’ve done is learn how to design and launch a “consumer” product in a little over a year. You had probably been working on it before, so let’s round it up to 2 years. Impressive for sure; but this achievement comes in second to my next point.

What’s truly impressive, to me, is that you learned a lesson or two from Steve Jobs about controlling the entire process. So now you’re on your way to controlling the delivery vehicle (the Fire) and the content (with Amazon). It’s no small fact that one can only access the app store on Amazon and not the Android Market. – Amazon is much cleaner, better curated and a more fun place to shop. In short, you’ve crafted the entire consumer experience. You get it! And sorry Serge and Larry, you don’t!

And, you did something very slick from both a technology point of view and a branding point of view. You build the Kindle based on Android but no where can one find any mention of the Fire being an Android device except in some technical papers. None of the reviews or reports about the Fire even mention Android. So you’ve simply branded the technology as your own. Right on! Why put someone else’s name on your product – that would be like saying “Powered by Intel” – great for the other guy, not so great for your own brand. So bravo! Job well done (no pun intended).

Well, I guess I’ve eaten enough crow for today. I personally learned a great deal from seeing how you’ve made yourself (excuse me… how you’ve made Amazon) into a personal delivery and content consumption platform. This is the new vertical integration and it’s cool ’cause it works so nicely. Which isn’t something I can say about Android, but that’s a letter for another day.

So, Jeff, thanks. Keep up the good work. I’ve got to get back to reading my Steve Jobs Biography on the Fire. If you don’t already have a copy click here to purchase a copy on Amazon :).




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