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Openness Rewarded with Innovation

Wade Roush has a good article on how Amazon is enabling innovation at MIT Technology Review, Amazon: Giving Away the Store.

While companies such as Google and Microsoft are also experimenting with the idea of letting outsiders tap into their databases and use their content in unpredictable ways, none is proceeding more aggressively than Amazon. The company has, in essence, outsourced much of its R&D, and a growing portion of its actual sales, to an army of thousands of software developers, who apparently enjoy nothing more than finding creative new ways to give Web surfers access to Amazon merchandise—and earning a few bucks in the process. The result: a syndicate of mini-Amazons operating at very little cost to Amazon itself and capturing customers who might otherwise have gone elsewhere.

Some examples: www.kokogiak.com/amazon4, www.AllConsuming.net, www.grokker.com, www.yes.net.

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