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Closed Book: The Problem with Kindle

The Problem with KindleAmazon's new electronic book, Kindle, addresses many of the mistakes made by previous entries in this highly unsuccessful market. Better display. Low-priced titles. Built-in networking.

Too bad Amazon forgot the key ingredient to technology platform success: openness. David Weinberger, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, opines that open systems are almost always the market winners over the long term. An open system allows developers and users to create services and applications for your product that you never envisioned, giving it even more value.

Is your product susceptible to competition from an open provider? Weinberger says the answer may be yes if:

The benefit your product delivers is broad and of cultural significance.
The quality of what your product delivers is subjective.
The benefit delivered by your product naturally wants to be a commodity.
Your product could be considered a platform.
(Kindle image by b d solis, CC 2.0)

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