Broader Audience Less Satisfied with Kindle DX

Seth Godin points out flaws in a New York Times blog post about the Kindle – but the underlying message of the original article is interesting.

Amazon's Corporate Headquarters

Having spent some time recently praising Seth Godin’s writing, I’ll take a moment to jump on the other side of the fence.  Today, he takes a moment to hold accountable Nick Bilton for a New York Times blog post about the Kindle.  Seth rightly points out several issues with the author’s charts and underlying assumptions.

Bilton’s point is that through time, the number of customers who express dissatisfaction with the newer Kindles sold by Amazon is growing larger.  Seth’s perspective is that the market served by each Kindle has changed through time, progressing from technology early adopters to a more general market consumer.

I would argue that Bilton’s point is valid.  As Amazon attempts to grow the market served by the Kindle, they are struggling to maintain the customer satisfaction ratings they received with the early models (and original market).  Put another way, there is a mismatch between the Kindle DX and the market it is serving.

I’m speculating, but I would guess that Apple’s products do not receive a similarly large number of negative customer satisfaction responses.  Their products are well designed for the target market and the disconnect between what is delivered and what is expected is smaller than what we see with the Kindle DX.  Apple is the common exception to many rules, but it is possible to design a mass market product that appeals to both the technologists and the mass market.