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Here’s Why CEO Jeff Bezos Decided Books to be Amazon’s First Product

The store also sells Amazon electronics, including the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, Kindle Fire tablet series, the Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Fire TV

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Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

Do you know why Jeff Bezos decided to sell books, and not CDs, online 22 years ago? A rediscovered 1997 video has revealed why the richest man of Earth chose books over CDs to be Amazon’s first product.

Rediscovered by analyst Brian Roemmele and shared on Twitter, the video shows a young Bezos speaking during a 1997 “Special Libraries Conference”.

“I picked books as the first best product to sell online, making a list of like 20 different products that you might be able to sell.

“Books were great as the first best because books are incredibly unusual in one respect, that is that there are more items in the book category than there are items in any other category by far.

“Music is number two, there are about 200,000 active music CDs at any given time. But in the book space there are over 3 million different books worldwide active in print at any given time across all languages, more than 1.5 million in English alone. So when you have that many items you can literally build a store online that couldn’t exist any other way,” Bezos says in the video.

The Amazon Founder and CEO who is worth $110 billion today said Amazon was able to capture people’s attention by giving them something that had real value – an online marketplace that made shopping easy.

Amazon
Hindi language added to Amazon messaging assistant for Indian users. Pixabay

“The June 1997 video is notable too because just a month earlier, Amazon went public for only $18 a share. As of yesterday’s close, Amazon was worth $1,778 per share,” TechRepublic reported on Wednesday.

Not just selling books online, Amazon has 526 physical retail locations globally, including 19 Amazon Books stores.

The company opened its first physical book store in Seattle’s University shopping centre in 2015.

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The first location in Seattle had approximately 5,000 titles stocked on its bookshelves, using shelf space to display the covers of books facing outwards instead of spines.

According to Amazon, the decision was made to showcase the authors and their work, rather than efficient use of space.

The store also sells Amazon electronics, including the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, Kindle Fire tablet series, the Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Fire TV. (IANS)

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Amazon Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Launched in India: Report

Users can also view, hear, and delete your voice recordings at Alexa Privacy Settings or in the Alexa app at any time

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018. (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon India on Wednesday launched Echo Input Portable, its portable voice-controlled smart speaker with a big 4,800 mAh rechargeable battery, in the country for Rs 4,999.

Echo Input Portable is available for pre-order on Amazon India with a black fabric design.

According to the company, the smart speaker is designed to be carried around your home and the battery delivers 10 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge.

“Customers in India love Alexa, and told us that they wanted a hands-free experience that could move from room-to-room. This was the inspiration behind Echo Input Portable, and we cannot wait to see how our Indian customers enjoy the flexibility of this portable smart speaker in their homes,” Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices India, told reporters here.

alexa, amazon, echo
The application processes questions from a human voice and provides recommendations on the precise sizing of medical devices. Pixabay

The Echo Input Portable comes with 360-degree audio and thus, lets users access Alexa from anywhere in the room using the same far-field voice recognition.

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The device is built with multiple layers of privacy controls, including a microphone off button that electronically disconnects the microphones.

Users can also view, hear, and delete your voice recordings at Alexa Privacy Settings or in the Alexa app at any time. (IANS)