Amazon: ‘The World’s Most Complicated Iceberg’

Image - iStockphoto: GibasDigiPhoto
Image – iStockphoto: GibasDigiPhoto

Depth Charge

I think the difficult piece with Amazon is that everyone underestimates what they’ve built.

Craig Mod does not underestimate it:

If Gutenberg’s printing press was the equivalent of Amazon, you would look at the printing press and you’d go, “Oh, I can probably replicate that, it’s just a couple of dowels and a press – and take an old wine press, a grape press – and we’ll put it together and we’ll make this printing press.” But the fact of the matter is that what we see on the surface of Amazon, the printing press…goes underground 400 stories and occupies 4,000 football fields underneath.

Craig Mod
Craig Mod

Mod recorded his conversation with the Copyright Clearance Center’s Chris Kenneally, and the exchange is available both in audio and in transcript. Mod had given a keynote address to the Yale (Book) Publishing Course in New Haven before diving back into work on a collection of essays he has coming out in Japan in October.

On the tape, you hear Kenneally and Mod talk at length about what Mod terms “four years to live with a variety of formidable e-reading devices.”

This is enough time, he says, for us to now decide, each of us, “Well, what am I doing now and why am I doing that? How am I reading now and why am I reading the ways that I’m reading?”

At nine minutes into the exchange, Kenneally gets into the Amazon question by engaging one of the hallmarks of Mod’s thinking — a high view. This is no pun on the guy’s legendary air travel. He lives both in the States and in Japan. (Fellow frequent flyers might enjoy his recent, smart essay at Medium, Let’s Fly.) But he can be thoughtfully grounding when the time comes for him to offer a stabilizing perspective.

And he does that here with Amazon.

Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Craig Mod On Amazon: ‘The World’s Most Complicated Iceberg’

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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