Someone I know recently purchased an Amazon Kindle eBook reader. It is a great device after all in all respects. Then came a snag – she tried to purchase a J.K. Rowling story and found out that the author’s work was not available for the Kindle. She was incredulous. I was also surprised, not by the fact that you couldn’t buy any of the Harry Potter books for the Kindle (as of this writing), but by the fact that she purchased the device ignoring that what she was really buying was access to a proprietary library – the Amazon Kindle library. The device only gives one access to books in that specific library – if that’s the case, why not see if the books you are interested in are actually in the library to begin with? A real pitfall today is buying technology because it is interesting, rather than because it meets a specific need. At all levels of investment involving technology, defining requirements up front is critical. Imagine buying an eBook reader and discovering after the fact that your favorite author’s works weren’t available for the device. I for one prefer to bake the requirements into the buying decision itself.