Cult Watch 2007: Who's Drinking the Kool-Aid?: Page 2

Posted November 28, 2007

Mike Elgan

Mike Elgan

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Is there an Amazon cult? Absolutely. This small but loyal congregation was given a huge boost late this year by the Kindle, which is a cult enabler. Yes, Amazon's first physical product is a nice gadget. But its over-riding purpose is to interact with the Amazon.com Web site. Features such as free wireless search of the Kindle store, one-minute book downloads and the ability to write and post reviews directly on the device is like the coming of the Messiah for Amazon cultists.

• The Amazon cult is moving up like the Jeffersons, from 1/2 a Dixie cup of Kool-Aid to 2 cups.


The only suicide cult among the bunch, Palm has been slowly taking its own life for two years, and, as a result, cult members are losing faith. A conspicuous lack of innovation in precisely the space (smart phones) where Apple is "changing the world," has made carrying a Treo -- which used to be a badge of pride -- almost embarrassing. Other missteps, such as promoting, then killing, the Foleo, made remaining cult members question the divine origins of leader Jeff Hawkins.

• The Palm cult moved in 2007 from 3 Dixie cups of Kool-Aid to just 1.


Two factors have boosted BlackBerry Cult devotion. First, real innovation in Pearl and Curve lines have thrilled longtime cult members, and given them something to fawn over. The second factor is the rise of the iPhone, which places RIM devices in a kind of underdog position, at least in terms of trendiness. CrackBerry addicts are as addicted as ever, and are still having fun with their devices.

• The Cult of BlackBerry moved this year from 3 1/2 Dixie cups of Kool-Aid to 4.

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