Sunday, May 21, 2006

The penny drops

Sometimes we can be a little slow. A few weeks back I wrote about's wrinkly pricing. This is where it gives users of its A9 search engine a 1.57% discount on its products when they conduct a certain number of searches. say that the 1.57 is approximately pi/2; that is, pi as in 3.14 etc. Apart from noting that that was a non-round number I thought that they were just being mathematically cute in the way Google often is.

Well, the penny has finally dropped for me at least. The discount is a reward for searches that itself make Amazon more money through advertising (perhaps of its own products). So the discount or rebate is a share of the value or 'pie' created from this type of activity. It would 'split the pie' as they say in negotiations. Hence, pi/2. It was not mathematically cute but economically cute. La di da.

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