Give the users what they want, not what you want them to buy

Status: New Idea

I had high hopes when I bought my first Nook. Systematically, as the line expanded and I "bought up," those hopes have been dashed.

The absurdities crowd in on themselves. A "tablet" without a Facebook app? I can't put the Chrome browser on an Android-based tablet? I can't side-load applications like my password manager because they represent a "security risk"? Whose security? You claim that users have access to Google Play on the HD but, in fact, we don't have access to the entire store.

People come here and ask for this-and-that and the-other-thing. But really, all people ever needed and need now is for B+N to treat them like customers, instead of like ATMs. I bought the first Nook, then the Nook Color, then the Nook Tablet, then the Nook HD. These products do not evince the design of giving the buyers what they want and need. These products do not evince any evidence that B+N looked to customer satisfation first, profit second. Marketing concerns about tying buyers to the B+N brand, overcame customer service concerns of making the customer want to come back for more. But, you generate profit by satisfying customers. The old saying is, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. I'm nuts.

Now, I don't like Amazon, the company, and I don't buy books there. So, I come to B&N, a company I've been patronizing for more than 30 years, well back into brick-and-mortar days. And I find that here, marketing plans are still revolving around rent-seeking and not around offering new, interesting and useful ways for me to enjoy the products I've purchased.

My wife is worried by reports that B+N is dumping the Nook lines, because they're unprofitable. They're unprofitable because the organization worked on making them profitable, instead of working on making them the reader/tablet everybody would want to have. Stop it.

Now, here's my little feature list.

  • Either let me side-load apps, or open up the whole Google Play store. I want every app that I use on my Samsung S3 available for my Nook.
  • Zinio. Some magazines (like The New Scientist) publish the digital edition through Zinio. No Zinio app for my Nook, so I can't read my digital edition of the magazine on it.
  • Facebook. I mean, really.
  • Unlock the "share" function in the reader, so that I can share all books and not just ones I bought at B&N.
  • Be the first e-reader to unlock the "copy" function, so I can copy squibs out of the books when I'm researching. I realize that these absurd DRM rules are mixed up in this. But I buy a lot of DRM-free books (most technical ebooks are now DRM free), and being able to save material would be very useful.
  • Make the research features that are available in Nook Study available in the Nook ereader products. With all the research I do, it would be a huge help if I could copy an important text and get a cite for it at the same time. I had really hoped that ereaders would give me a leg up on the tediousness of typing out passages and formatting cites.
  • Frankly, the product search is horrible. If I search for "Google Maps," I don't want to see a zillion search results of books with the word "map" in the title.

You can look at the history of emerging product lines and see the examples of companies that totaled hosed the line, fixed the problem and established themselves. The Nook has all the basics in place for a solid line of tablets and readers. Somebody just needs to step up, kick the marketing droids out of the conference room, and settle down to the question, "How can we turn our Nook users into raving fans?"

Categories: New Product Ideas
by ‎09-07-2013 09:16 PM - edited ‎09-07-2013 10:01 PM

AThe play store is available, it's the apps that aren't supporting the HD, not BN locking them out.  A good example, Google Keep.  It was available for the HD and works fine, if you downloaded it before the latest update to Google Keep.  With the latest update, for some reason, it's no longer compatible.  Google did something.


if they had the ability to somehow control what you can see in the play store, which I doubt, why would they lock you out off any apps, and if they were going to, wouldn't it be the apps also available in the BN App Store?  Because many of the apps are available in both stores.  It's the developers not making the apps compatible.  Complain to them.


the zinio app downloads from the play store to the HD without a problem.  In fact there's been some threads here on the zinio app and the number of files it seems to put on the device.

by on ‎09-09-2013 05:08 AM

1) As was mentioned Google PS is open, it's on the apps side not B&Ns that the limitation comes from.


2) Zino is also there.


3) Facebook is available as an app.  Pretty sure it comes preloaded these days.


4) Could possibly work, but it would require B&N does sell the ebook you're sharing.  I do not believe B&N links with sites like LibraryThing, and certainly not Goodreads since Amazon bought them.  That's not to say the GR app wont work nor that you can't use GR if you have B&N ebooks, just that B&N itself doesn't access them for metadata).


5) Just because a book doesn't have DRM does not mean it's legal to reproduce it.  Tor for example releases all their SF/Fantasy ebooks without DRM.  I'll save the debate on the DMCA and say that, at best, the folks on this forum have found it to be a murky area full of grey. 


On your last two points I agree, Nook Study should be able to work with and on the Nook lines.  And the search needs a overhaul, which I believe it's going to get.  I'm not able to say when. 

by on ‎11-08-2013 01:15 PM

Agree with the general need to be more customer-responsive, if not some of the particular points.


Some have pointed out the HD does what you ask for it to do.


As to the sharing, I think that is more a publisher thing and not B&N's purview.

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