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With Anirvan Chatterjee, founder and CEO of



By now, almost everyone has heard of “the long tail,” the commercial phenomenon that allows little-known products to be found and purchased. Nowhere is the long tail more obvious than in online bookselling, as we’ll see when we visit with today’s guest.

Anirvan Chatterjee developed the core technology in 1997 as a class project when he was a student at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to founding he interned at Microsoft and worked as CTO for Santa Cruz California Web services firm AtreNet. In 1999, Anirvan teamed up with his long-time friend Charlie Hsu to build the back-end technology that powers A lifelong bibliophile, he is a big supporter of independent bookstores and a voracious reader, working his way through a hundred books a year.

Join Anirvan and host Paula B. for a book lover’s discussion of and bookselling in general, including:

  • What is and how it works
  • How they financed after it grew out of a college project
  • What sorts of books people search for the most
  • How the life cycle of a book affects bookselling, book searching, and authors
  • How valuable signed copies of a book are
  • What the difference between a signed book and an inscribed book is
  • Whether you can search for ebooks and self-published books on
  • Why they’ve added a feature that lets people see the total cost of a book, including shipping
  • When and how customers are most and least likely to rate merchants
  • How online marketplaces affect pricing
  • What authors can tell about their books by browsing on
  • What sorts of issues arise for book searching because of variations among countries and languages
  • What other cool things you can do at
  • How Anirvan finds the time to read 100 books a year
  • And then Anirvan turns the tables on Paula and asks her about her book searching and buying habits.

Interviewee: Anirvan Chatterjee
Host: Paula B
Date: April 2, 2007
Running time: 01:13:39
File size: 45 megabytes
Rating: G
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