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Don’t overlook the home of Microsoft, Amazon, Zillow and other innovative companies large and small when looking for voices in media thought leadership. Below are observations and insights from a handful of the city’s media leaders that I collected while accompanying a Missouri School of Journalism innovation and entrepreneurship class as they visited each venue.

Kris Peterson, vendor manager, Amazon (Kindle publishing)

Younger readers may not realize that Amazon lost money for more than a decade. The founders and investors had faith in management, the product/service, and Amazon’s ability to grow audience. And grow it did. Thus some of what we heard wasn’t surprising, and some piqued our interest.

  • Kris advised innovators and entrepreneurs to focus on product instead of making money. If the product works, the money will follow. That’s been Amazon’s experience, not just wishful thinking.
  • In the Kindle space — and throughout the company — Amazon measures everything, including: How far a reader gets into a page or book, where they pause or drop out, and what passages might get highlighted and/or bookmarked.
  • The next frontier: How do we anticipate what the customer wants — before the customer knows what they want?

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Brian Steffens  
 
Director of Communications



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