Jeff Bezos Sent Me A Book

Mr. Bezos lived in Seattle and owned a little black phone.

“Black phones are fine,”
said Mr. Bezos,
“but there are FIFTY black phones,
all on the shelf
at Best Buy.
How can I tell
which one
is mine?”

Odd introduction to a TechCrunch post? Sure, but it’s also not every day that Jeff Bezos sends you a copy of his favorite childhood book — Mr. Pine’s Purple House — to hype Amazon’s next major event.

Mr. Pine lives in the world’s most boring suburb (though to be honest, most of them are boring anyway…). To make his house stand out, he first plants some trees in front, but just like the neighbor who has to buy a new car right after you bought yours, everybody goes ahead and does the same. Then he decides to paint his house purple and forbids everybody else from doing the same.

What does that have to do with Amazon, you ask? Well, the expectation is that Amazon will launch a phone next Wednesday and from what we’ve heard, it’ll do a bunch of clever tricks and include face tracking to power some 3D features.

“I think you’ll agree that the world is a better place when things are a little bit different,” Bezos writes in a short memo that came with the book.

Just like Mr. Pine in Bezos’s favorite childhood book, Amazon wants to do something different. Lots of colors for a phone isn’t all that new, but like Mr. Pine, Amazon needs to do something to set itself apart from the rest of the smartphone vendors. Just another black slab of phone with a nice screen on top and Android as the OS won’t be enough to differentiate itself from the rest of the field.

I’m sure the gadget kremlinologists will have a field day with these books, but I doubt there are any other clues here besides that Bezos himself will likely keynote the event in Seattle. It’ll definitely be interesting to see what Amazon has in store for us. We will be there and keep you posted, so come back next week for more on Mr. Pine, his dog, his car, his brushes and ladders Amazon’s new phone.