Advice to Amazon #2

Advice to Amazon #2

Who am I to offer advice to Amazon, one of the most influential companies in the world?

I’m a customer…like you. 🙂

I like Amazon. I want them to do well. If I can suggest something that helps them, that’s a win-win.

If they don’t take my advice, that’s fine. They may know things about the situation I don’t know.

I do have an

Advice to Amazon

category on this blog, but I think it’s good to gather some of it together into a post from time to time. That also lets you comment on it. 🙂

 In my first post in this series

Advice for Amazon #1

I made three suggestions:

  • Do a speed-reading display (that has recently arrived on some Fire tablets, in the for of “Word Runner”)
  • Do a Daltonizer (to change colors to help those with color vision deficiency like me. They haven’t done that yet…still wish they would)
  • Personalized coupons (discounts based on past buying habits…hasn’t happened yet)

Here are some more suggestions/advice:

Suggested feature: friendly names

I have made this suggestion directly to them, and I think it could be great for us and for Amazon!

We would be able to give “friendly names” to items we buy…”Pat’s vitamins”, “Fluffy’s toy”, “Bufo’s floss”, and so on.

One big application for that would be ordering through the

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It would be so much easier to tell Alexa what to re-order that way.

This would also be “sticky” for Amazon…it would make people much more reluctant to shop somewhere else. In many cases, people probably wouldn’t even remember the actual names of the items.

Suggested event: Amazon event

I think I described this pretty well when I first suggested it, so…

“Amazon could host something in Seattle. They could show off new hardware, have Amazon KDP authors there, have developers of Amazon apps and Alexa Skills, do some international things, maybe show off the Prime Air drones…even Prime Now riders. 🙂 Wow, people would really talk about that! It could also counter some bad publicity, by letting people get behind the curtain a bit, and showing happy employees.”

I’d love to see them do this once a year…and I would totally want to go!

Suggested feature: digitizing service

There is still a lot of content out there which is in the public domain and hasn’t yet been digitized. There are also cases where someone has the rights, but only has paper editions.

Amazon could offer a digitization service.

People would send in something to be digitized, and they would attest that it was either public domain or that they had the rights to it.

Amazon would digitize it (they could invest in hardware/process which would make it relatively easy).

The owner could be required to add something to it to create a new copyright (illustrations, an introduction).

The item then appear in Amazon’s store. The owner gets a cut. Amazon gets a cut…and there is a period (maybe three months) of exclusivity for Amazon to sell it.

This is another one I think could be a very big deal…I think Amazon could do it safely, in terms of reasonably avoiding infringement.

Suggested feature: social playlists

I originally suggested this for Prime music, but it could work for videos and books (especially Kindle Unlimited), too.

Customers create playlists.

Other customers “like” them.

Ones with more likes are more visible.

I don’t think Amazon would even need to compensate the customers for that.

Ideas to producers marketplace

I think Amazon has really tried to get around the traditional content providers (at least to some extent) in the past year.

If you are able to create your own content, Amazon has a way for you to get distribution. You can put your blog into the Kindle store, you can put book into the Kindle store, and so on.

I’d like to see Amazon set something up where producers can connect with people who have ideas…and Amazon takes a cut for facilitating it, and again, could get a short term exclusive for selling.

Let me give you an example.

I have what I think is a good idea for an app (I’ve had it for years).

I think it would sell moderately well…no Angry Birds, but I do think people would like it.

I could write the content…but I’m simply not going to program it.

I used to teach programming, and I could learn it…but I’d rather just write the content, sell it to somebody to develop and distribute, and get royalties.

I’m sure many other people have ideas for apps…or TV series or movies or books.

Amazon wouldn’t work out the deals…that would be between the producer and the person who thought of it.

There would be reviews and ratings of the producers, to help people choose.

This one is a bit tricky, but Amazon could do it, I think.

This idea of “three month exclusivity” would make Amazon very attractive, and keep people visiting. The rights reversion would mean that the items would get to other stores…but as a secondary market.

I’m always curious what you think, and you are more than welcome to comment on this post. I’m also going to do a poll:

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

4 Responses to “Advice to Amazon #2”

  1. Karen Salmons Says:

    Love some of these suggestions. One thing I’d love to see on Echo is a local news “flash briefing”. For instance where I live my TV stations are in Indianapolis, In . It would be great if my flash briefing was from one or all 3 network stations. Since weather and traffic is local, why not news?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      Thanks! Glad you liked them. 🙂

      Local news is trickier because of getting the content.

      Amazon can contract with, say, Accuweather, and get local weather.

      Traffic is local because you enter your address…and again, there are services that provide traffic around the country.

      In terms of local news, I’m aware of Patch, which has a lot of local sites. Generally, though, I get my local news from local news stations. The news app, by the way, for KGO ABC 7 is a great app…much better than CNN. For one thing, I can always read a text summary of every story: CNN may give me only a video option.

      Anyway, Amazon would probably have to contract with a lot of individual stations…that’s messy. 🙂

      You could try doing a search, but Amazon can’t just give you news stories from, say, Reuters, and have them read to you…there are rights issues.

      The way I think it is likely to happen (unless Patch works) is that the local news sources will create their own Skills. I’d love KGO to do that!

      I’m confident something will happen eventually…

  2. Man in the Middle Says:

    +1 on the Karen Salmons suggestion. It hadn’t occurred to me before than the Echo might not have to wait for me to speak to it before telling me something I urgently need to know. Flash flood warnings, for example, or tornado warnings, or even an alert someone is approaching the door. It would be nice to set up desired categories for such alerts in advance, and then leave the triggering of an appropriate alert to Echo.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      My guess is that may come from Skills, at least at first, but we’ll see…

      Either way, I do think it will happen. Amber Alerts would be one applications, but so would critical weather warnings, as you suggest. I’d love to see the option (and it would have to be an option) to hear Flash alerts for sales…

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