Building groundbreaking technology is at the core of the Amazon.com mission. This focus on technology brought us to Amazon, gets us up in the morning, and occasionally keeps us here late at night. And we’re not alone. From the edgy garage band selling its first album through the Associates program to the Fortune 500 retailer watching its e-commerce division grow with Amazon Services to the scrappy entrepreneur building a business from the ground up on Marketplace, Amazon.com has become much more than a web site. In fact, we see such abundant activity and opportunity for growth on the Amazon.com platform that we consider it more an ecosystem than a web site.
This Amazon.com ecosystem is creating opportunities not just for online shoppers, but for so many different individuals and businesses of all shapes and sizes that this book comes at an ideal time. There are tools and tips in this book that appeal to a wide variety of audiences: online shoppers, web site owners, sellers of products, and software developers. We hope that Amazon Hacks will spur innovation and help people get the most from the ecosystem we all create collectively every day. We’ve seen the other O’Reilly & Associates Hacks Series books fly off Amazon’s virtual shelves by the thousands, know first-hand how far they can reach—to more than 220 countries and counting—and can’t wait to see how this book will help people use the ecosystem to surprise us.
Amazon Hacks is much more than a guide for getting the most out of Amazon.com as it is today—it is a call to all true hackers out there to innovate on the platform. Please keep in mind that some of these hacks will continue to evolve. You can always find the current ingredients for any serious software development—the Amazon.com API—at http://www.amazon.com/webservices.
The ingenious applications that developers have built in the last year using the rich content and features is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. The more innovative technologists working within the Amazon.com ecosystem and APIs—the very participation this book helps drive—the closer we will get to the ever-elusive “Day 2” of the Internet.
By lowering the barriers to entry and experimentation on top of the Amazon platform, we invite true hackers to extend and enhance the platform for all to enjoy—including us!
—Amazon.com Technology Team, June 30, 2003, Seattle, WA