Giving away the razor to make money on the blades is a well-known strategy. But giving away the razor and the blades in order to make money on a subscription loyalty program as a way to sell everything else? Is that Amazon’s real goal with the Kindle—is Amazon in the device business only to sell Prime subscriptions, which the company sees as a key accelerant for sales across the rest of its site?
Amazon really is a mystery to me. If you read an interview with Jeff Bezos, you kind of like this guy and his ideal – „We’re a company very accustomed to operating at low margins. We grew up that way.“ – as it means they give the customers as much value as possible. And you realize how strong Amazon is in so many different internet businesses. But still there are things you don’t want to be true: That Amazon is exploiting its employees, avoids paying taxes by shipping goods out of other countries etc. And although Bezos might be a nice guy, it is not good that one company (and three or four more) is gaining so much power.