And o f co urse all o f these capacities seem

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: nside the Bo o k” f eature, digitizing the images and text f ro m tho usands o f bo o ks in its catalo g. “Search Inside the Bo o k” lets custo mers peer into a bo o k’s co ntents in a way that’s bo th f aster and mo re accurate than bro wsing a physical bo o ksto re. Mo st impo rtantly f o r Amazo n and its suppliers, titles f eatured in “Search Inside the Bo o k” enjo yed a 7 percent sales increase o ver no nsearchable bo o ks. When “Search Inside the Bo o k” launched, the database to suppo rt this ef f o rt was 20 TB in size. In just eight years, the f irm f o und that it made go o d business sense to launch an ef f o rt that was a f ull tw enty times larger than anything used by any f irm less than a decade earlier. And o f co urse, all o f these capacities seem laughably small by to day’s standards. (See Chapter 11 "The Data Asset: Databases, Business Intelligence, and Co mpetitive Advantage".) Fo r Amazo n, the impo ssible had no t just beco me po ssible; it became go o d business. By 2009, digital bo o ks weren’t just f o r search; they were f o r sale. Amazo n’s Kindle reader (a Mo o re’s Law marvel spo rting a micro pro cesso r and f lash sto rage) became the f irm’s to p-selling pro duct in terms o f bo th unit sales and do llar vo lume. The real business o ppo rtunity f o r Amazo n isn’t Kindle as a co nsumer electro nics device but as an ever-present, never-clo sing sto re, which also pro vides the f irm with a migratio n path f ro m ato ms to bits. (Fo r mo re o n that to pic, see Chapter 4 "Netf lix in Two Acts: The Making o f an E-co mmerce Giant and the Uncertain Future o f Ato ms to Bits".) By 2011, Amazo n (by then the largest bo o k retailer in No rth America) repo rted that it was selling mo re electro nic bo o ks than print o nes.M. Hamblen, “Amazo n: E-Bo o ks No w Outsell P rint Bo o ks,” Co mputerWo rld, May 19, 2011. Apple’s intro ductio n o f the iP ad, co mplete with an iBo o k sto re, sho ws ho w Mo o re’s Law rewrites the bo undaries o f co mpetitio n—bringing a f irm that started as a co mputer retailer and a f irm that started as an o nline bo o ksto re in direct co mpetitio n with o ne ano ther. Bits and Bytes Co mputers express data as bits that are either o ne o r zero . Eight bits f o rm a byte (think o f a byte as being a single character yo u can type f ro m a keybo ard). A kilo byte ref ers to ro ughly a tho usand bytes, o r a tho usand characters, megabyte = 1 millio n, gigabyte = 1 billio n, terabyte = 1 trillio n, petabyte = 1 quadrillio n, and exabyte = 1 quintillio n bytes. While sto rage is mo st o f ten listed in bytes, teleco mmunicatio n capacity (bandwidth) is o f ten listed in bits per seco nd (bps). The same pref ixes apply (Kbps = kilo bits, o r o ne tho usand bits, per seco nd, Mbps = megabits per seco nd, Gbps = gigabits per seco nd, and Tbps = terabits per seco nd). These are managerial def initio ns, but technically, a kilo byte is 210 o r 1,024 bytes, mega = 220, giga = 230, tera = 240, peta = 250, and exa = 260. To get a sense f o r ho w much data we’re talking abo ut, see the table belo w.E. Schuman, “At...
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online