FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. I wrote this blog almost a year ago. And as it sometimes goes it has recently become even more relevant than it was at the time of its original publication. Yes, as I had hoped for Amazon has lowered the cost of a basic Kindle to $250.00. I urge everyone to buy Kindles for friends and family–a great gift, which will keep on giving for many years!!!
I often joke in my blogs about downtownster being an unfunded startup, launched in the middle of perhaps the worst economic situation in our country’s history—this is not a joke, but the truth. As downtownster grows, literally every day, I am asked with greater and greater frequency to write about the economy, politics, and relationships. Can you imagine that we live in a time that customers, in this case downtownster readers, can tell you what they want and if you have any business sense—you can oblige at the touch of a keypad. So, I woke up this morning planning to write a brilliant essay on the state of the economy. I was even going to delve into why entrepreneurs, such as myself, should be more aggressively than ever, starting companies like downtownster. But then it occurred to me to write about Amazon’s Kindle DX.
Kindle, if you are not already familiar, is an e-book reader created and sold by Amazon. The new Kindle DX is a technological marvel, which holds 3,500 book titles at a time and is close to paper-thin. The reading display utilizes ink technology, which gives the reader the closest experience possible to actually reading print. And unlike the Sony e-book reader the Kindle operates with an internal wireless 3G capability that allows books to be downloaded to the device, usually in thirty seconds or less. Yes, THE WIRELESS HOOKUP IS FREE, the cost is covered by Amazon. I should also mention the new DX model has a 9.7 inch screen— 3 inches larger than the past models.
The LA Times take on the Kindle DX, in a recent article, is, not surprisingly, whether or not Kindle will save newspapers—like the LA Times. And while this is a legitimate question, we should all note here that the LA Times and other financially troubled newspapers are in trouble more than anything because of bad business decisions. A debt free LA Times still owned by the Chandler’s would have turned a profit of a hundred million dollars last year. This begs a discussion regarding leverage—it’s not good. But let’s not digress too far. I predicted almost ten years ago that a device like Kindle would be developed and would be the future of how people, not only read books, but newspapers—and now a little something called blogs. Continue reading