The Kindle is a young device, but it's already on the way out. If you're a CEO about to move to eBooks, I would recommend going straight to the iPad or an Android tablet.
I was an early Kindle user -- I always kept one with me on the road and one at home. But I recently ejected my traveling Kindle out of my backpack and, as you can see from the picture on the left, my home Kindle is gathering dust in the stack of books next to my bed.
What happened? Blame it on Keith Richards. I bought Richards' autobiography, Life, over Christmas. As an experiment I decided to read it on my iPad, using the Kindle app. The iPad offered a bunch of advantages:
1) The backlit screen made it easier to read, especially when my wife turned off the lights at 11:30.
2) Underlining text with a flick of the finger is far better than joy-sticking through paragraphs.
3) Moving between pages was seamless, with none of the slow refresh that you get with the eInk-based Kindle.
4) The iPad is a multifunction device -- I use it for music, pictures, email, browsing, applications, viewing business documents. Books fit naturally in this environment.
But the big difference was how I used the capabilities of the iPad to give me the "extended" eBook experience. When Keith referenced Altamont, I quickly took a look. When he talked about G tuning his guitar, I checked it out. I was getting his book+, in one look.
In my recent travels, I have been asking tech CEOs a simple question: "Are you satisfied that your sales force is advancing your strategy?" The answer has been a resounding "No!" They give it a C- grade.
Here are the problems, according to the CEOs I talked with:
1) “Speed.” The sales force is always 12 to 18 months behind strategy.
2) “Calling too low.” Sales reps aren’t getting to power.
3) “The sales force can’t tell the story.” The focus is on price and not on the full value and quality of products.
4) “We have the wrong people.” Not smart enough, not tuned in to the market.
CEOs are translating their frustration into action. Many are about to "completely overhaul" their sales forces. Here’s what CEOs have in mind:
1) “Make sales more like engineering.” Engender high collaboration, high touch, higher IQ.
2) “Become more customer-focused.” One CEO trains his sales force to ask about and respond to the top three problems of each client.
3) “Better technology.” 43% of salespeople say they have better technology at home than at work.