And o f co urse all o f these capacities seem

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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...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.

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