If convenience predicts success, the Kindle could be so much more

[Forrester Research] says convenience is key. It defines the concept in this way: A “comprehensive measure that considers the total product experience.” That includes researching the product, obtaining the device, using it, and eventually getting rid of it. The study also says that in successful products, convenience is not a benefit, but “a measure of how easy your product makes it for people to get the benefits your product promises.”

They also cite the easy downloading of books without needing a computer as the reason that the Amazon Kindle was an unexpected success.  They call ebooks on Amazon “cheap”, which is funny, but the point remains.

So, if the convenience of the total product experience of the Kindle was what made it so successful, how much more successful could it have been if Amazon had removed the intentional inconveniences?

What if you could install additional software on it?  Software to read other formats, perhaps?  An open web browser?  What if you could plug in an SD card, like every other reader on the market?

Amazon couldn’t do these things without giving up a lot of their control.  If you could use an SD card, then maybe you could use an Eye-Fi card and not depend on Sprint’s network to provide the Whispernet.  If you could use a web browser, you wouldn’t need to pay 99 cents to access a blog.

And that’s not to say that both generations of the Kindle aren’t convenient.  Being able to get a new book wherever you are is tremendously convenient.  And Amazon’s marketing (not to mention Oprah’s) means that, while few have heard of many of the ebook readers on the market, most people are familiar with the Kindle.  For the non-technical user, perhaps this is enough.  Amazon’s sales support that theory.

Article:  How to predict gadget success | Business Tech – CNET News.