The Kindle isn't even a month old yet and availability remains limited. In fact, Amazon still reports they're out of stock and that new orders won't arrive till after Christmas. So who owns a Kindle and what do they think of it? I plan to help answer that question by seeking out early adopters who have had some time to test drive their Kindle.
My first interviewee is Michael Puhala. Michael writes an excellent blog on interface design and has made several Kindle posts of his own (see this one on a comparison of the Kindle to the Sony Reader, this one on how to read PDF files on a Kindle, this initial review of his Kindle and this open letter to Jeff Bezos about the Kindle).
Here are Michael's answers to my Kindle questions:
JW: Given the $400 price point and first generation technology, how hard was the decision to make the commitment and buy your Kindle?
MP: This would have been a much easier decision had the price tag been at $300 rather than $400. It was a little hard to swallow at first, but the deciding factor was the wireless functionality and the size of Amazon's content library. Amazon would be wise to find a brick and mortar distribution channel as I bought this on blind faith without ever touching it or trying it out. Word of mouth is important but will slow the adoption. If they can figure out a way of self-registration (similar to the iPhone), then distributing the Kindle through Costco for $379.00 would bode well for Amazon (with the ability to demo).
JW: How many books do you typically read in a year? What genre do you tend to focus on?
JW: What has been your impression of the Kindle so far?
JW: Have you been using your Kindle for anything other than book reading (e.g., magazine/newspaper subscriptions, blogs, etc.)?
JW: Do you have any recommendations for Amazon to consider when they look to finalize a feature set for Kindle 2.0?