There be no shelter from Amazon.
The retail titan is rapidly expanding in so many directions that its front lines of competition are everywhere. Amazon is currently sending shockwaves through four different markets totaling $220 billion in value.
Two of them are underway, one is a threat, and one is an opportunity. The fourth is a literal game-changing move, given that Amazon is making bold advancements in video games.
Jeff Bezos Tabloid Drama is a Distraction
Over at The Washington Post, Elizabeth Dwoskin asks:
“Jeffrey P. Bezos’s alleged explicit selfies and public attack on the National Enquirer make him part of the club of technology executives behaving badly. But his troubles aren’t likely to roil Amazon — at least for now.”
Think about how lucky we are that it was possible for someone to become as resourceful as Jeff Bezos as fast as he did on the scale of magnitude that he did.
And courageous enough to blow the whistle on a malicious scheme (which the National Enquirer has admitted to doing, and argues it was perfectly legal) by a junk newspaper that litters up supermarkets with disclosures about individuals’ personal lives.
Billionaire Who Bankrupted Gawker Explains Why
I fiercely oppose censorship, but I think Peter Thiel is correct to say that safeguarding the freedom of vital political discourse has no interest in protecting the right of newspapers to profit from what is essentially unacceptable for the same reasons that doxxing is.
Does Jeff Bezos’ Behavior Put Amazon Stakeholders at Risk?
A few days after interviewing Jack Dorsey on his podcast, Joe Rogan was talking to Sam Harris about all the blowback he got for not pressing Dorsey with hard enough questions about censorship on Twitter.
He recounted to Harris that Dorsey didn’t know a lot of the answers to the questions he did ask about censorship, and then it became apparent to Rogan just how small a part Dorsey really is of something as massive as Twitter has grown to be.
And so it is with Jeff Bezos and the company he started in his garage.
That is why I agree with Elizabeth Dwoskin that “his troubles aren’t likely to roil Amazon.”
And here are some real news stories about how Amazon.com Inc. is roiling markets:
I. More Talk About Amazon Buying FedEx
Just how big is Amazon?
Massive to cosmic proportions.
And its growth trend is accelerating at an astonishing rate.
The square footage of the company’s real estate alone is an absolute marvel.
And how recently it has acquired most of it is incredible.
According to its latest annual report:
“Amazon now has 288 million square feet of warehouses, offices, retail stores, and data centers. In 2017—the biggest growth year for the company’s properties—alone, it added more square feet of building (74.6 million) than the company had total in 2012 (73.1 million), when it was already the largest online retailer in the world. Amazon has added more building space from 2016 to 2018 than it did in all the rest of its history. Go back a little further in time, and the growth is even more astounding: Amazon has 48 times the square footage it did in 2004.”
And with FedEx shares trading at a loss over the last 6-month and 1-year periods, there is more talk again of Amazon acquiring FedEx:
Commercial Appeal says:
“Amazon buying FedEx makes more sense than growing its own delivery network to FedEx’s level, if the e-commerce powerhouse is serious about the logistics business, analysts at an investment firm argued last week.
“And FedEx CFO Alan Graf Jr. agrees if Amazon wanted to be in FedEx’s business, it would be cheaper just to buy the Memphis logistics giant outright, according to Anthony Chukumba and Rick Paterson, both Loop Capital Markets analysts. They continued to make their case for why the acquisition could happen in a note last week.”
Of course, the purchase could be a massive disruption for Memphis, Tennessee if the retail giant decides to move FedEx headquarters.
II. Amazon Is Reconsidering Moving To NYC
When Amazon announced it would be spending $5 billion to open two new headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia and Queens, New York – with each campus housing 25,000 employees – there was swift backlash from the local community against the New York City HQ. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez lent her megaphone to the booing and hissing.
Here’s a smart treatment of the controversy by NBC News:
Now Amazon says it may not go forward with the Queens, New York location after all. The naysayers’ campaign of negativity against the opportunity has caused Amazon to reconsider.
But this guest speaker on Fox Business explains how insane it is for a community to chase away a sudden infusion of a large number of high-salary tech employees.
III. Just Invested $530 Million In Self Driving Cars
Autonomous car company Aurora Innovation just recently finished a second round of fundraising that infused the company with an additional $530 million.
The two major participants in the investment were Sequoia Capital, leading a group of investors of which Amazon invested most.
IV. Amazon Is Getting Serious About Video Games
Amazon Game Studios just released its first major video game, “New World,” a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game about colonization.
Players collaborate to build a colony on an uncharted island; rid the place of dangerous beasts and monsters; and gradually build homes and cities.
Established in 2012, Amazon Game Studios hasn’t had much to do with a long-form PC game until now, limiting its products to smartphones and Amazon devices.
In 2017, Amazon Jobs went on a conspicuous hiring spree for some of the video game industry’s top talent, saying Amazon is “all in on video games.”
If history’s any guide, the rest of the industry had better watch out.
Jeff Bezos Image from Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP