Thursday, August 18, 2005

Interviewing Werner Vogels: Amazon CTO

After a lot of tough scheduling and rescheduling problems, I finally got Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO to sit down (on the other side of the country) and shoot the podcasting shit with me.

It should be ready for all listeners over here at my show, Memory Lane at IT Conversations next week. I know you'll be all ears.

We talked about important stuff like:

1. The first book he ever ordered on Amazon;

2. The first book I ever ordered on Amazon; (Actually both of us ordered about 3 books the first time we bought anything there.)

3. The Long Tail -- now, Chris Anderson, don't get annoyed with me, but I'm pretty tired of talking about your tail, but Werner wasn't, he couldn't shut up about it and I mean the "concept" of the Long Tail -- not the book -- and then ...;

4. Talked about John Batelle's WIRED piece about Google's humble beginnings and what Werner remembered about those early days of Page and BrinRank;

5. And the big question, I had to ask Werner "Why didn't you go work at Google instead of Amazon?"

6. General stuff about search and how he thinks we are just at the very beginning of developing really sophisticated search engines;

7. My account history at Amazon and all the people I've sent gifts to and how private that info better be because it's got names and addresses of old beaux and all sorts of data I don't want to share with anyone;

8. Werner's account history and a discussion of privacy and how they are keen on it at Amazon (THANK GOD!);

9. Rumors about whether Amazon is opening up an ITunes type store;

10. Whether product reviews and the early customer book reviews weren't a precursor to blogging;

11. Other stuff I can't remember.

Anyway, it was fun as heck to talk with him and I'll post a link here to the podcast as soon as it's out ... in a bunch of days.