Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • Scott Galloway is arguing for the breakup of the Amazon businesses. He called them an invasive species in his presentation before sitting down with Kara Swisher. He seems like a smart enough guy.

      Are they innovating an investing in a way that's good for consumers in the long run or just their shareholders? Is the argument something else?

    • Are they innovating an investing in a way that's good for consumers in the long run or just their shareholders?

      I think Amazon has been a net good for consumers, in that they tend to provide quality products and services at fair prices, and overall the existence of Amazon has probably improved more lives than it has hurt.

      But the sheer size and scope of Amazon's business has gotten scary, and presents a real danger. So far, Amazon has mostly used their size to benefit consumers rather than to exploit them. But the way Amazon treats their competitors, their retail suppliers, and even their own employees in their distribution centers should serve as a warning. On the surface, Amazon is a trusted and well-liked brand. Behind the scenes, they're ruthless and relentless.

      First Amazon dominated the online bookselling business. Then they drove retail booksellers out of business. Then they dominated all online retail sales. Then they dominated cloud services. They're now seeking to dominate streaming video, music, groceries, smart home devices, logistics, healthcare, and more.

      That's a lot of power for one company to have. And the more power Amazon amasses in one of these areas, the harder it is to compete with them in the others, because they can pour endless amounts of money into ventures that aren't yet profitable whereas smaller competitors can't.

    • Big money always has a way of attracting attention to political interests and fears. But perhaps beyond surface concerns, society should ask whether it can funnel the energy associated with a model of a well run quasi monopoly which had acquired near perfect efficiency, to provide crucial services to its members.

    • Disclaimer: I am in awe of whatever brilliance Amazon possesses that enables them to sell such an incredible diversity of stuff so successfully. Also, I know Jeff and some of their top execs and I thoroughly admire them.

      Having said that, I really don't know why they have to be so ruthless with state governments. For example, it has been the law forever that companies must charge state sales tax if they have a presence in the state. Amazon established both Lab126 to design the Kindle and A9 to compete with Google search here in the Silicon Valley.

      Apple and Google paid state sales tax while Amazon unleashed a torrent of lawyers to argue that they shouldn't have to, for years. We the taxpaying California residents paid for the enormous costs the state faced in its battle with Amazon. Apple and Google paid for the state resources Amazon so freely drew upon in their attempt to steal Google and Apple employees and compete with them.

    • Are they innovating an investing in a way that's good for consumers in the long run or just their shareholders? Is the argument something else?

      There is an argument Amazon exists for the workers. I can't find the link now, but someone published an article showing employee compensation versus profits was far higher at Amazon than many other large companies.

      With the latest news that Amazon is now paying $15/hour as a minimum wage across the company, if it is an invasive species I hope we see more of them :)

    • increasing the minimum wage is a start, although I wonder what the working conditions are for those workers... and also if they're really able to support their families making $600 - $800 a week.

    You've been invited!