From Services To Essential Hardware

Barnes and Noble got it right with the Nook, converting its brick and mortar stores into a digital eReader.

B&N learned the lesson from record stores like Virgin and Tower that if you’re not building a piece of hardware with an integrated store your business will go extinct.

The same risk was at play for Amazon. Even with a digital store the hardware owners with integrated stores like iPhone and iPad still had the upper hand. The Kindle was therefore a natural succession in the digital service game.

We’re seeing a similar shift in social. People are the equivalent of digital products, bought and sold by advertisers. Facebook is building a phone to maintain its social networking hegemony.

The real service in service companies whether it be Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iTunes, or Facebook is in the piece of owned hardware.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.