I read this great FastCompany piece about Amazon’s Fire Phone debacle last week (whoever sent me the link, thank you!) and keep coming back to the point the article makes that the smartphone launch failed because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was trying to make a cool, premium device to help move Amazon towards being more of a lifestyle brand.
Unfortunately that final statement immediately brings to mind for me the 11th Doctor Who’s frequent assertion that “fezzes are cool”.
gif by lexiingram
Perhaps Jeff Bezos needed a River Song type person at Amazon HQ to shoot his ‘cool’ idea out of the sky by pointing out that she was pretty sure that Amazon’s mission was something like ‘making the world more convenient’, not ‘making the world cooler’.
Google might be busy working on self-driving cars and magic glasses, but their mission to ‘organise the world’s information’ still sits true across all their products, services and NPD if you just lose the last word. And ‘to organise the world’ is, paradoxically, a pretty cool thing to be aiming for.
It seems to me that Amazon really have been setting out ‘to make the world more convenient’. Whether that’s through making buying stuff easy and fast, sending stuff before you know you’ve run out of it, streaming instant entertainment on Prime, making books more accessible and portable with Kindle or a network of servers hosting other people’s websites and data that basically makes up the biggest computer on the planet, its all about making things more convenient. And a 3D me-too iPhone with rubbish apps was never going to slot in happily alongside all that.