If you are interested in books and ebooks in particular, you should read this: On the declining ebook reading experience. Two beliefs I have on this topic:
- Book sellers have become more competitive. In Canada, Indigo’s prices seem to be much lower and they sell books using low prices stamped prominently on the cover.
- He doesn’t say it, but the author hints that Apple should step in and make their own Kindle. I certainly would like to see Apple step up and make their own Kindle. The device and the user experience would be great, I am certain. It would blow the Kindle out of the water and likely make me switch over to becoming a bigger ebook reader.
This piece may be the stupidest defence of Amazon’s workplace practices: Replace Just 2 Words in the New York Times Amazon Article and Something Amazing Happens | Inc.com.
Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. There is nothing in the NYTimes.com article that gives any inkling that they are. If anything, they have all the downside of being an entrepreneurs with little if any of the upside. If someone can point out an article showing how Amazon consistently rewards employees as if they are true entrepreneurs, I’d love to read it.
There’s nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur. In fact, for some people, being an entrepreneur is the best type of work there is. Everything about it appeals to them, and working for a large corporation would kill them.
The Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur, be one. Don’t try to be one working at a large corporation. That is antithetical to what being an entrepreneur is.
I just cleaned up an environment I had set up in Amazon years ago for a client. (The client wanted to use Amazon, so we did.) In doing so, I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind which would cause me to continue getting billed even though I was no longer actively using EC2. I believe that the following checklist was useful in insuring this.
My EC2 cleanup checkist:
- Delete my Elastic IPs
- Terminated instances – running and non-running (I did this before deleting volumes, since it deleted alot of them for me)
- Delete remaining volumes
- Delete my security groups ( 1 will be left – the default one)
- Deregister AMIs
- Delete snapshots (you need to deregister your AMIs before you do this)
- Check your account balance
- In a few days, check your account balance to see if there are any charges you haven’t accounted for
After following this checklist, my EC2 environment was cleaned up. Depending on how you are using EC2, you may have more things to delete. Checking your account balance will help there: if you left things behind, they may incur charges. An increase in your account balance will help flush them out.
One thing to consider: you may delete something, but it doesn’t show in admin console. If that is the case, logout and then in. I did that when I was having trouble deregistering my AMIs. I logged out and then in and when I checked them, they were now deregistered.
If you are a man (or someone who like to wear shoes traditionally associated with men) who doesn’t want to wear shoes from leather, don’t want to wear Converse or Toms shoes but do want to wear dress shoes, you have what I think is a good alternative: Delli Aldo shoes. I came across them via Cool Tools (a newsletter and a section of Kevin Kelly’s website) and I think they are great for a number of reasons:
- they are very stylish
- they come in a wide range of styles
- they are low cost
- they are vegan
Beware: they run large (e.g. if you wear 8, consider getting the size 7 or 6.5) and they stink the first few days you get them (then apparently they do not).
For more information, check out the link to Cool Tools or go right to Amazon and pick up a pair.
And he and Softlayer (part of IBM) make a good case for it here: Bezos’s law signals it’s time to ditch the data center in Tech News and Analysis.
This reminds me of a similar article, by Nicholas Carr, that was famous some time ago: Does IT Matter?
In both cases, where IT is a commodity like electricity or running water, getting the lowest cost and most generic (but good quality) version of it should be the goal.
However, IT can also be used as a differentiator. So can a data center. In those cases, company’s should control and manage their IT / data center to give themselves a competitive advantage.
P.S. As always, these views are my own and not necessarily my employers. See the “About” page for more on this.
Over at The Motley Fool, there is this article, The Big Losers in the Cloud Pricing Wars, that talks about recent price drops for services at Amazon and Google and how these price drops will affect the cloud computing business. (The Cloud Pricing Wars is very dramatic – I am not sure it is an all out battle at this point: we need more time to see if that becomes the case)
Anyone interested in cloud computing should check it out.