1.13. — Amazon’s Grand Plan

For the past few years, I have been reading everything that I can put my hands on — and I mean everything. You can find the list of digests I subscribe to and try to read them weekly, as I do, but since my post a few years ago regarding the future of Snapchat (on Facebook, of course) I’ve put more emphasis on reading and learning as much as possible than on posting a distillation of that learning.

In reading Benedict Evans digest (a personal favorite), wherein he suggested “confusion” in Amazon’s strategy of getting into the chip business, I decided I just couldn’t hold back. Evans explains his thinking with the assertion that Amazon is offering chips to improve the quality of connectivity, which in turn “helps e-commerce and hence Amazon’s core business.” I believe that Benedict is correct that Amazon wants to improve connectivity, but also believe that this fits in nicely with Amazon’s grand plan: taking over the IoT, and thus the household, with Amazon chip-connected products.

We’ve seen an early prototype of what this would look like with the Dash Button. Marc Andreessen has predicted that “in 20 years, every physical item will have a chip in it.” Amazon already has placed its emphasis on customer service and speed, through same day delivery and Amazon Prime, and is working on a delivery transport system that will emphasizes drones. It seems that the final step is in the products themselves. If Amazon can leverage their $350mm acquisition of Annapurna with their pre-existing technology, it can:

1. Create connections between devices (using Amazon Echo as the hub, potentially?);

2. Report back to Amazon by detecting when these connected devices are running out of life. Once the detection is made, Amazon can send a notification to the Amazon member, and with “one-click” (← sound familiar?) the user can authorize the next shipment of product.

I’m definitely excited to see how this plays out, but I believe this is where Amazon will reap the benefits of focusing on the customer and building scale on a grand level.

A few articles I’ve enjoyed from December/Early Jan:

  • Must Read: “Blanks Rule” from steve blank— For those who care about innovation, and forward thinking. Steve is one smart dude.
  • Oldie but Goodie: “How Venture Capital Works” from the Harvard Business Review. — For those who are getting into startups/investing, and want a nice primer on the fundamentals of Venture Capital.
  • Fundamentals: “Measuring Price Elasticity” from Fred Wilson, who is one of the top 10 people on this planet I hope to meet at some point in my lifetime. — For those who want to learn a new business concept that is vital for understanding unit economics, or those who are working on #pricing.
  • Founders: “How to Hire” from eShares CEO Henry Ward. — For founders/executives, who are placing an emphasis on hiring.
  • Sales: “Are your salespeople closing bad deals? Here’s how to fix it!” — From Steli Efti and the Close.io crew. (Sign up for his 60 second daily kick starters, and The Startup Chat with Hiten Shah…you will not regret it. Great actionable advice.)
  • Actionable Advice: I’m 23, so who am I to give you actionable advice. However, my Dad has always placed an emphasis on being honest and loyal, and I’ve found that this has helped me thus far (and I’m still alive, so…). If you have any for me, or how I can improve the next post please let me know.

Finally…

Bullish: Everything blockchain — and bitcoin (more on this to come.)

Bearish: Apple getting rid of the headphone jack so that it can brag about how the iphone is 2x slimmer. Give me a break, Tim. I understand his roots are in design thinking, but given the pile of cash that Apple sits on, it seems paradoxical to keep gouging consumers for money.

Song of the Week: https://soundcloud.com/argonaut-and-wasp/the-sneeze. — Great new band out of Brooklyn.

Until Next Time.

Bull Stern.

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