Complex operations hurt your business

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

I prefer to buy from Barnes & Noble over Amazon. I’ve never been thrilled with Amazon’s business practices when it comes to patents and Web tracking networks. With this in mind, when I provide a link to a book, CD, or DVD, I’d prefer to send the link to

Since the Barnes & Noble has an affiliate program, I figure that I might as well use it. If I’m sending a buyer their way, there’s no reason that I shouldn’t benefit as well. The problem is that’s affiliate program is clumsy and makes it difficult to set up product links. Amazon’s, on the other hand makes it easy to set up an affiliate link.

I timed the process that was required to set up an affiliate link to Dr. Seuss’s "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" on both and

Here’s the process with Search for the product that you wish to link to. Get the product’s unique ID. Go to and log in. Find the page that contains the form for creating a link. Enter the product ID into the appropriate form for the type of product you are linking to. Find the link URL in the linking HTML code that is provided (since I don’t want to use their HTML, just the URL). Add the link to my site. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Elapsed time, 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Here’s the process with Amazon: Find the product I want to link to. copy the URL. Add my affiliate ID to the end of the URL. Add the link to my site: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Elapsed time, 15 seconds.

So as a person who wants to provide an occasional link, which site do you think I’ll go with? Even though hasn’t lost me as a customer, they’ve lost the traffic that I send their way. There’s no way to gauge how much that means in lost revenue for them.

Does your business have clumsy business processes that cause you to turn away business?

May 14, 2002 7:45 AM

Another reason to use Amazon... Bookwatch []. It looks for recently updated blogs on weblogs.colm who link to and then pulls in who's linking to what books.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

The Trap of The Sales-Led Product (Dec 10)
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features (Dec 7)
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management (Nov 16)
When you're hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
Strategy Means Saying No (Oct 27)
An oft-overlooked aspect of strategy is to define what you are not doing. There are lots of adjacent problems you can attack. Strategy means defining which ones you will ignore.
Understanding vision, strategy, and execution (Oct 24)
Vision is what you're trying to do. Strategy is broad strokes on how you'll get there. Execution is the tasks you complete to complete the strategy.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI (Oct 21)
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
Developer Relations as Developer Success (Oct 19)
Outreach, marketing, and developer evangelism are a part of Developer Relations. But the companies that are most successful with developers spend most of their time on something else.
Developer Experience Principle 6: Easy to Maintain (Oct 17)
Keeping your product Easy to Maintain will improve the lives of your team and your customers. It will help keep your docs up to date. Your SDKs and APIs will be released in sync. Your tooling and overall experience will shine.


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2023 Adam Kalsey.