Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Uniqueness Argument

A lot of people have been writing about us today, and have been vocal that we are inspired from Amazon.

Let's look back on InfiBeam's history, thanks to The Wayback Machine:

As we can clearly see, InfiBeam has had its own unique evolution with many challenges and sacrifices, and is certainly not an Amazon clone.

But, yes, we ARE inspired by Amazon. We wish to bring the kind of convenience, wide selection, and customer obsession, that they are famous for, to India. For that, we are definitely guilty of being inspired by them and many other great companies like Apple, Google, Sony and many more.

And, yes, the Pi is inspired by the Amazon Kindle. But can we consider Amazon Kindle to have taken inspiration from the Sony Reader which was launched a whole year earlier? How do you say yes and how do you say no?

To be very clear, we have moved on from inspiration and are focused on creating an ebook reader for India at an Indian price.

For example, the InfiBeam Pi supports most Indian languages like Hindi and Sanskrit. Ask yourself: Does any other popular ebook reader do this?

We have made more than one lakh ebooks available for download in India from big publishers and authors, and the customer can pay by cheque or even mobile payments. Ask yourself: Does any other online ecommerce store in India do this?

We are also working on adding more Indian local language books to the ebook store. Ask yourself: Does any other online ecommerce store do this?

These are the kinds of innovations that we need in India. And that is what we are focusing on. got it right when they reviewed the Pi:

So it this a good enough formula for India? Yes IMO. I don’t see anyone buying a $250 or $500 Kindle in India, but throw in a MP3 player and some basic gaming along with local language, well we might well have a success story here. The need only tech concept rules India big time. We don’t want polished hardware, colourscreens with multi-touch. We want cheap, we want multi usable products. Thats what the Pi is. I would surely give this a thumbs up with over 1 lac books on sale with Infibeam. What now I hope is that Infibeam does to books, what moserbaer did to movies!

Our innovation is focused on what the common Indian customer needs and looks for. Take, for example, our Mobile Phone store that gives you a great way to filter and drill down to the phone that you want. Note, specifically, that we give you the facility to filter by color, something that Indians take seriously! Do other ecommerce sites have such a facility?

Similarly, you can filter choices in the Automobile store to find a car or bike for you. But even more interesting is that we give you the estimated on-road price that is different for each city in India! Ask yourself: Does any other online ecommerce store do this?

We hope we have convinced you to look at the real value of Pi and InfiBeam. Please do wait until you experience the Pi and we would love to hear your feedback on our reading device and content library which we are very excited about!