Amazon is making its move. Last week the company purchased Whole Foods, entering into the American grocery market. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Nike has agreed to sell some of its items on Amazon.
For millennials, Amazon is dope. It provides us with an easy one-stop shopping solution that is unmatched anywhere else on the Web.
But as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, arguably the most powerful man in tech with a net worth of $84 billion, dips into every sector of the economy and Amazon swallows up smaller companies, we should be concerned that the online behemoth will eventually stifle competition. If I told you that Amazon would become an online marketplace for health insurance in five years, would you be completely shocked?
An op-ed in the New York Times Wednesday compared Amazon’s domination to the railroad monopoly in the 19th century.
Not only does Amazon produce television series, manufacture products like Alexa and the Fire TV Stick but it is also one of the world’s largest logistics networks and marketing platforms, as well as the dominant provider of cloud computing, which counts among its clients the Central Intelligence Agency.
Amazon’s easy-to-use interface and Prime membership service has bought good-will with consumers (including me). It may be years before any of us wake up and realize Amazon has integrated itself into every facet of our lives.
By then it may be too late. A MarketWatch article shows the reach of Bezos’ investments and it is pretty terrifying. Additionally, Amazon is also building brick-and-mortar stores which seems like a big “F U” to the competition.
Amazon doesn’t need Apple-esque stores in affluent neighborhoods but even if they don’t turn a profit it keeps the company at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
In 2013 Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. He brought a new approach to the newspaper industry and reimagined the Post, which is now rivaling the New York Times in online subscriptions.
At the Future of Newspapers Conference in Turin, Italy, Bezos said,
“We run Amazon and The Washington Post in a very similar way in terms of the basic approach. We attempt to be customer-centric, which in the case of the Post means reader-centric. I think you can get confused, you can be advertiser-centric — and what advertisers want, of course, is readers — and so you should be simple-minded about that and you should be focused on readers. If you can focus on readers advertisers will come.”
So, as Amazon introduces technology that delivers goods to our homes in minutes, is it crazy to think we will all become little Bezos bots who live in the United States of Amazon?