The Kindle first came out in 2007. The iPhone had already been released and it would be another 3 years until the iPad came out.

Amazon was in a unique position to do something highly innovative. They could have developed a colour touch screen device which played games, movies, eBooks, podcasts, a full web browser, word processor and more. The technology was there and they had the money to do it.

But nope. They wanted to build the best eBook reader. So it needed to have a nice legible screen, great battery life, an unparalleled library of books and to be affordable. Around £100.

Everything else didn't matter - and why should it? If you're building a house you wouldn't stick on a moat and a drawbridge just because you had the budget. What purpose would it have for the problem you're trying to solve?

We Should all Learn From That

Your website doesn't need to be huge or innovative. It just needs to be brilliant at what it does.

Define what your goals of the website are and then work out how to properly achieve that while providing your users a good experience. If that's all your site does and nothing else - you've won. If you've done that, and managed to invent a brilliant innovation at the same time - fantastic!

Don't worry about blogging if your user's don't care. Don't be on every social network just because it's hip and new. Don't build a "Smart TV" when all your users wanted was to watch BBC One. Don't send your passengers via Mars when they wanted to go to New York.

Don't do more when you can do better with less. Make your site a Kindle. Your sanity and budget will thank you.

(A few years later, when the price of the materials came down and they had perfected the basics, Amazon did release the Kindle Fire - an iPad competitor but kept the main Kindle which still outsells it)