Originally Posted by Ben Thornton
Wasn't the previous Kindle the best selling product on Amazon also? I remember being surprised by that, because you would expect them to sell a lot more of a low value item (a book, an mp3 track, a CD) than these.
My suspicion is that this is true in some literal sense, but a bit misleading.
As to the side discussion on the "best" products, often the most popular are simply the best. I often research what to buy using what sells best on Amazon - it's the "wisdom of crowds", I guess (which is quite an interesting book btw). It seems to me that buying something less popular to prove to yourself how independent you are is no better than buying what's popular because it's trendy.
To your first point, yeah the best selling single item is akin of Studios saying, "It's the #1 rated comedy based out of Chicago aired between 10 and 10:30 in the country" or "the #1 rated Children's movie based on a character from the 60's in the Country"
same here with Amazon, I'm sure it sells way more DVD and Blu ray's but each individual title would count as one product. Same with books, TV etc.
So it's kind of a little hokey.
as to your second point, that is a yes and no. Sure people will buy products just so they don't follow the crowd but in many instances the crowd is being pulled along by the Pied Piper. And yes some products are the most popular because they are the better choice. But both cases are far and few in between.
For example, if someone today wanted to buy a pocket sized hand held camcorder, which brand first comes to mind? The Flip? 9 out of 10 times, yes. What was more than likely the best selling pocket camcorder this Christmas season, the Flip? I'd be shocked if it wasn't. Heavy adverstising creates herd mentality. It creates the "it must be popular so that means it must be the best".
now lets say you did something of at least 30 mins. of research. Then all of a sudden the picture isn't so clear. In fact your opinion would most likely change. All of a sudden the Kodak Zi8 or Kodak Playsport seems like a better option. better rated video quality, shoots up to 1080P and all the way down to WGA for computers, expandable memory (very key) replacable Lithium ion Battery, comes with an HDMI cord included.
All features the Flip doesn't offer. So why on Earth would you buy a Flip camera?
So then why is the Flip the better selling pocket video camera?
See what I mean?
Amazon has a similar strategy, and heavy promotion is at the heart of it.