Re: Amazon Launches 3D Printed Products Store
My first reaction on reading the headline (and I posted this on the InformationWeek Facebook page) was 'wow, I had no idea this was happening!' - 3d printing is still so new and sci-fi to me, and I don't remember Amazon announcing any big plans for it, let alone that it was up and running. Then I took a look at the store... jeeze, what a 180. My reaction was about the same as most of yours: "cool, but what am I going to use any of this stuff for?" No wonder Amazon didn't make a big fuss over it... sounds a little like one of those half-baked ideas we were talking about on IWRadio on Tuesday.
From a business angle, well.... my outlook is a little sunnier. Like someone else said, this gets them in on the ground level in a spot where there's virtually no competition - there are all the little vendors they're aggregating, but nobody else doing the aggregating. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how much this cost (or will cost) them in setting up and overhead, but I suspect not much - it looks just like their regular store, and I'm sure there's a ton of overlap in systems and processes. Maybe it's not such a big bet that 3d printing will take off. After all, we all had the same reaction - "cool, but I'll wait til it gets better". Not "if", when. Maybe that's exactly what they're expecting.