[!CrackMonkey!] [firstname.lastname@example.org: [pigdog] Re: Important test at Amazon.com]
nick at zork.net
Sat Jun 22 23:48:14 PDT 2002
----- Forwarded message from Evan Prodromou <evan at prodromou.san-francisco.ca.us> -----
>>>>> "JB" == Jeff Bezos <jeffb at amazon.com> writes:
JB> We're doing an important test at Amazon.com that we wanted you
JB> to know about.
Cool! I appreciate your time and effort in personally overseeing this
project and making sure I'm kept abreast of the situation.
Others may say you're getting too big for your britches, Jeff, but us
here on the ground, where the action is, we know you're Amazon.com,
heart and soul. True blue, baby!
JB> It may be the most important experiment we've done to date.
Holy crap! The most important experiment to date!!!! Perhaps it's
anti-gravity books? Or CD-in-a-pill? Personal Amazon moon-car?
JB> Starting today, as a long-term test, you can get Free Super
JB> Saver Shipping on orders over $49. Previously, only orders
JB> over $99 qualified.
WHA...?! That's the MOST IMPORTANT EXPERIMENT TO DATE? A $50 drop in
the qualifying price for free shipping?
I dunno what the hell's going on there at Amazon.com Laboratories,
Jeff, but, DUDE, you're paying those eggheads TOO MUCH. From any angle
you look at it, this is a STUPID experiment.
If I know those scientist types, they've probably been using the lab
equipment to make club drugs during business hours, and playing Unreal
Tournament on the Cray, and when they had to report their quarterly
status, they popped out this "drop the qualifying price" thing and
hoped they could sneak it past management.
I might point out that your personal involvement in this project
evinces an alarming lack of vision. I mean, how could you be snowed
like this? Do you really think this is FABULOUS DOT-COM SCIENCE of the
FUTURE or something? Dropping qualifying prices for comp deals? That's
Reno science, my friend. That's Cal-Neva science. That's Winnemucca
science. That's not how you get to be Time's Man of the Year two years
running, Jeff. C'mon.
I guess I'm just trying to give you some friendly advice, Jeff, since
you took the time to write me this personal email. Let me be blunt,
Jeff: you are betting on the WRONG HORSE. I can think of like 50
experiments that are better than this experiment. 500! EASY! What
* TELEPORTING books directly to customers' laps?
* 4-D HOLOPORN?
* A good translation of that "To Serve Man" book?
* Inflatable Banana Yoshimoto AI love dolls?
I mean, the list goes on and on. These are EXPERIMENTS, Jeff. I think
what you're describing is more like a "trial balloon." And you know
what? NO DOT-COM has ever won the Nobel Prize for TRIAL BALLOONS. Look
it up, you'll see I'm right.
JB> This past January, we launched everyday, 365-days-a-year, Free
JB> Super Saver Shipping on orders over $99, and it's been
JB> successful. Customers have adopted it in large numbers (it
JB> takes 3-5 days longer than our standard shipping, but it's
JB> free), and its proven economically sustainable for us as
Blah blah blah. Jeff, it looks like you bought this load of baloney
hook, line and sinker. LISTEN TO YOURSELF. Just stop for a second and
listen to yourself. Do you believe ANY of this?
JB> Reducing the ordering hurdle to $49 makes it much easier for
JB> customers to get free shipping--more people will qualify and
JB> qualify more often. It will also be very expensive for us.
JB> That's why we're first doing it as a long-term test. We
JB> expect to run this test for 3-6 months. Well be looking to
JB> see if our current customers order more from us and whether we
JB> attract a greater number of new customers since its so easy
JB> to qualify for free shipping. The hope is well generate
JB> enough new business to offset the cost.
Dude, I know it was with personal feelings that you sent me this email
and stuff, and I'm trying to slog through it, but I have to tell you
that you're boring me to tears. You sound like a marketing wonk! You
And that's not the Jeff Bezos I know! That's not the Jeff Bezos who
solicits my personal opinion on things. The Jeff Bezos *I* know is a
VISIONARY. He's the ONE-EYED MAN, baby! He doesn't get caught up in
this mincy-prancy N-months M-dollars hoohaw. That's for the LITTLE
PEOPLE. That's for the functionaries and the sawdust people.
I mean, the Jeff Bezos I know, he'd be in a meeting with some balding
weirdo beancounters with green visors and arm-bands, who are droning
on and on to him about the niggling details of this so-called
experiment, and he'd be pretending to listen to them, and then he's
stand up and say,
"BOOKS FOR DOGS!"
And the little people, they'd get all agitated and confused, because
they don't understand VISION, Jeff, you have to show it to them, but
Jeff Bezos, he'd continue,
"Books for dogs! There are what, 380 million dogs in America today?
Maybe 8-9 billion worldwide? North American pet-product sales -- what
is it, $4 trillion per annum? We need a piece of that pie! And what
better way than to sell BOOKS for DOGS to READ! YOU, STANLEY! Yes,
you! Run with this idea! You've got my full authority to make it
happen -- community canine literacy programs, drool-proof paper, get
some celebrity dog writers like Rin Tin Tin and Benji. THE
WORKS. Report to me in three weeks! And I want an Amazon.com product
next to every dog bowl in this country when you get back!"
See, that's the kind of thing Jeff Bezos does.
JB> At the conclusion of the test, we'll let you know whether or
JB> not we'll be able to make the new $49 hurdle permanent.
Nice pussy wrap-up here, Jeff. This is the kind of bullshit waffling
those OSTRICHES over at Barnes and Noble would pull.
Barnes and Noble: "at the conclusion of this test..."
Jeff Bezos: "DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!!!!"
Can you see the difference?
JB> In the meantime, for the next 3-6 months or so, please enjoy Free
JB> Super Saver Shipping on orders over $49. (We've also recently
JB> reduced product prices on many books, bestselling CDs,
JB> bestselling DVDs, electronics, and tools.) Whether this
JB> particular test works or not, you can count on us to be
JB> relentless in finding ways to lower prices and provide more
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. >snork< Huh? What? Were you
saying something, Jeff? For some reason I FELL ASLEEP IN MY CHAIR.
JB> Thanks for your continuing support as a customer.
Dude, listen: I'm here for you. I'll continue to buy books from
Amazon.com, and if this "experiment" doesn't work out, you're welcome
to come stay at my place for a few weeks till you get back on your
Also, listen: it was a good idea for you to run this concept past me
before announcing it to the general public. I hope I've convinced you
to really give it long hard look-over. At the very least, consider
some way to work in lasers to the equation. Some science stuff, you
Free laser pointer with free shipping! OK, it's not really that
sciency, but right now we're doing damage control. We can run a
post-mortem on the science process later.
JB> Jeff Bezos Founder & CEO Amazon.com
Hey, so, I hope you don't mind if I just call you "Jeff", OK? You can
call me "Evan" or even "Ev" or "The Evster" or whatever. Just feel
JB> We hope you enjoyed receiving this message.
Fuckin' A, I sure did! I'm sorry I had to write such a harsh reply,
but I'm really worried that you're slipping man. Everybody has a bad
day once in a while, and I figure this is just some slump time in the
visionary quarter or something.
But you gotta PULL out of it! Stick with me, man! We'll go far.
evan at prodromou.san-francisco.ca.us
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