Amazon is one of the richest and most powerful companies in the world. But how powerful is it and how exactly has it arrived there in almost two and a half decades? To fully understand the course of business and the significance for future antitrust legislation, I recommend reading the new corporate profile of the former New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, which was published in The New Yorker ]this morning. It has the apt title "Is Amazon unstoppable?"
It contains a comprehensive set of complex details about business and company history, combined with intelligent analysis and some current and anonymous quotes from current and former executives. But first and foremost, Duhigg explores the scary idea that it might be impossible to stem Amazon, either through regulation or through a standard capitalist competition.
(Interestingly enough, it fits in well with this feature in The Atlantic which today is titled "Jeff Bezos' Masterplan," which details the education and beliefs of the enigmatic CEO; Bezos declined ab The interview for both articles ends with a particularly deterrent kicker that everyone should read.)
One of Freed's outstanding ideas was a feature that lets you use your voice to ask the phone to play a song. The feature became the foundation for Alexa and the Echo spokesman, and Freed received a considerable budget from Bezos himself to build the technology instead of licensing it from a third-party vendor like the Fire Phone.
The results were stunning: Alexa is present in tens of millions of homes around the world, underscoring Amazon's continued expansion into the smart home and appliance market. Alexa has also made Amazon a major player in the field of artificial intelligence. Freed's other achievements have also helped Amazon dominate the e-reader and e-book market, as well as digital set-top boxes and streaming devices. "No other technology company makes as many things on a scale as Amazon," writes Duhigg.
But Duhigg's study of Freed – how passionate he was for Amazon's internal corporate culture, and how his commitment to Bezos' notorious "leadership principles" produced world-changing ideas and products – made a more sinister look at the cost of Amazon's growth , This is where the main topic of the article comes from. What can stop a company that has expanded so far and in such a short time, and how do we calculate the remaining damage?
The article spans more than 14,000 words and a thorough examination of all of the company's main controversies, highlighting the Amazon case from the point of view of its harshest critics with clinical precision. But it's worth the effort to understand the breadth of Amazon's business and understand what it could mean not only for the future of American commerce, but for the dozens of other industries and product categories Amazon is now addressing.
Link to "Can not stop Amazon?"