Look, you should wake up worried, terrified every morning. But don’t be worried about our competitors, because they’re never going to send us any money anyway. Let’s be worried about our customers and stay heads-down focused.
They did $16 million in sales and lost $5 million last year, so they’re more of a threat to their stockholders.
David Unowsky, owner of Hungry Mind Bookstore, who spoke to Jim Romenesko in 1997 for a profile on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Romensko dug up the entire article, entitled: THE HEIGHT OF ONLINE SUCCESS//TINY AMAZON.COM SQUARES OFF AGAINST INDUSTRY GIANT BARNES & NOBLE. (It wasn’t online, so Pioneer Press staffers had to pull it up from their own archives.)
It’s so full of win. Amazon had just gone public (in the thick of the dot-com bubble) and Barnes & Noble was just entering the web and everyone seemed sure they would crush Amazon. It’s something important for every entreprenuer to remember every time they hear “but what if XXXXX enters your business”?
Hungry Mind Bookstore, meanwhile, went out of business in 2004, as Romenesko notes. Yet the notion of Amazon as a “threat” to stockholders endures 16 years later.
I’m not comfortable discussing the contents of that meeting.
Russell Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice president for Kindle content, in federal court when asked about a meeting that took place at Jeff Bezos’ Seattle boathouse on Sunday Jan. 24, 2010.
That was a few days before the initial iPad announcement — where, of course, iBooks was also unveiled, kicking off the eBooks situation for which Apple is now on trial.
One important thing noted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt:
Several readers have asked how a witness under oath could get away with not answering a direct question. You’d be amazed at how much evidence in this case has been redacted because it contained trade secrets, business data, privileged conversations with attorneys etc.. Apparently Apple’s lawyer had been told in advance that there were Amazon lawyers present at the meeting in the boathouse, and he backed off as soon as Grandinetti declined to discuss what was said there.
If Grandinetti won’t talk about it because lawyers were present in the boathouse, that’s just about the worst way possible to phrase that.
So don’t buy our stock — instead buy our products and enjoy our investments.
This is the first time in the history of the world where the map maker is worth more than the territory that it’s mapping.