Barnes & Noble Shoots Itself In The Foot

In this GigaOm article on Barnes and Nobles flip-flopping “strategy,” Laura Hazard Owen writes the following:

“I’m just a little confused,” Coyote Capital analyst Rick Schottenfeld said. “By my estimation, we’ve lost almost a billion five in the Nook business since inception. And it’s really masking the underlying value of the bookstores…It seems obvious that this Nook business is dragging down the value of the bookstores, and I think shareholders would like to realize some of the value…At some point, are shareholders going to get relief?”

I’m not about to sit here and tell you I know what B&N should do with their existing business. I don’t follow the book business and, frankly, I buy everything online and most everything in digital format now. But I do know one thing: I wouldn’t use a Nook if Barnes and Noble gave it to me. It’s not because it isn’t a fine device, well built and does what it is supposed to do. For all I know it does.

When I decided to move to digital I understood distinctly that the decision I made would impact me for years. All of my content would be in that format. I basically had five choices: Sony’s ebook readers, Apple’s iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo or Nook. I picked Kindle for three reasons: 1) I see them supporting ebooks the longest with the widest selection; 2) I wanted the e-ink devices for leisure reading; and 3) Amazon offers the most reader apps on the most devices. This combination overcame my hesitancy around the proprietary .mobi format. [1]

Because of Barnes and Nobles’ struggles, I didn’t even consider the Nook.

[1] I use Calibre to convert between formats.

(via M.G. Seigler.)