Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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Monthly Archives for 2010

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Why Kindle is a hit...

Images When Amazon announced their Kindle last year, I bought one.  I wasn't too optimistic, as I had read a lot of bad reviews.

However, to my surprise, I've really enjoyed my Kindle experience.  The screen is extremely readable -- and while the controls are somewhat limiting, it's very easy to use.  And as long as I view the Kindle as a replacement for a book (rather than a replacement for a PC), it has surpassed my expectations.   So I'm not surprised to see today's reports that Kindle is a hit.

More importantly, I've found that I have purchased about 3 times more books using the Kindle than I otherwise would have purchased.  Surprisingly, the primary drivers of my increased purchases are due to the business model -- not the actual hardware.  Specifically:

1)  My bookshelves at home are filled with books that I never finish.  There's nothing more frustrating than buying a book, getting 20 pages into it, and then deciding that you don't like it.  Amazon's Kindle allows you to download the first few chapters of a book for free - so you can make a purchase decision after you've started to read the book.  Very cool.  I've avoided purchasing more than six books because I didn't like how they began.

2)  The average book on the Kindle costs under $10.  While it's still more you'd pay at, the instantaneous download  and low price do provide a real benefit.  I've downloaded books on trains, at airports and at hotels -- and have found that the experience is seamless and addictive.

The biggest drawback?  Reading on planes.  Use of electronic devices is prohibited during the first 20 minutes of a plane ride.  It's pretty frustrating to see everyone around you reading a book/newspaper, when your Kindle needs to be holstered.