May 28, 2014

On Amazon vs. Hachette

Of the writers I follow, Ben Thompson has the most sober take on the recent clash between Amazon and Hachette:

I’ve worked with publishers, and here’s the thing: Amazon is right. It’s not that publishers don’t add value, but rather that their economics are wholly incompatible with the reality of the Internet.

I know this site’s readers are intelligent people that will read Thompson’s article before coming to the conclusion that he (or I) justify Amazon’s actions from a moral standpoint. And actually, that’s what I appreciate the most about Ben’s work: Unlike some notable tech writers that you and I read, he does not refute to attributing humane characteristics (like evil or caring) to the companies he writes about. That’s all too easy.

Instead, Ben actually does the due diligence needed to understand these companies, which starts with accepting the axiom that all for-profit companies are exactly that: Profit-seeking. It’s only after we accept this fact that we are able to recognize the interests at stake, the complexities and the conflicts, and (attempt to) analyze the parties involved.

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