By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
November 9, 2018

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I’ve been traveling and consuming election coverage and doing other stuff, so I’ll keep it short this morning by commenting on a delicious nugget Aaron brought you yesterday. That would be Amazon’s decision to issue a paper catalog devoted to selling toys this Christmas season.

The Verge reported on this Wednesday. I revel over stories like this for their old-combined-with-new goodness.

The old is print itself. Techno hipsters—and wannabe bleeding edgers—are never content to sing the praises of the latest bright shiny object. They have to disparage the last generation’s toys too. Thus print is dead because, well, digital is better.

Except when it isn’t. Amazon recognizes that people like shopping in catalogs. Just like some people—me, for instance—like the serenity of reading a book or a newspaper without staring into a screen. And so Amazon will invest a tiny percentage of its marketing budget on good, old-fashioned catalogs.

The new? The pages of Amazon’s catalog are stuffed with QR codes. These black-and-white scannable options for buying things are all the rage in China but are less popular in the U.S. They’re on our boarding passes, sure. But most American’s don’t pay for things with QR codes. Amazon might change that.

I told you I’d be brief. Have a great weekend.

Adam Lashinsky


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