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The Amazon Dot Com Factor

Watching this evening’s special on Amazon I was surprised by the stunning parallels between them and Wal-Mart’s formula for success. In brief is it, snuff out the competition, treat your employee’s like robots, and claim that it is all for the benefit of you, the customer. I must admit that their prices are at times, breathtaking and there are very few things that they don’t carry or have a direct source to, but after hearing this evenings report I am seriously wondering just how many businesses they have or will drive out of business in the near future.

And if all of that isn't enough, just look at the profit line and stock price. I cannot remember ever seeing any company that is the absolute darling of the market despite their 1,400% growth and little, if any actual profit. Now, I’m not the sharpest investor in the world but a stock that pays no dividends and has practically no profit worries me. Oh sure, the price keeps going up but what is it supported by? If I were holding a few thousands of their shares I would be worried sick that I was going to wake up some morning and find that everyone else had wised up and sold the day before.

But if there was one overwhelming, run screaming through the streets kind of indicator that rises above everything else was simply this. They flatly refused to talk to any of the reporters on camera and warned their associates (another Walmart phrase, eh?) not to talk to the reporters either. Not necessarily a sign of guilt but it certainly has to make you wonder. Kind of reminds me of old Tony Blair back during Desert Storm and how he always managed to put a positive spin on anything. “Oh Tony, we didn’t catch Osama again today, what say you?”. “Oh common mate’s, yes we didn’t catch him but just think of all that money we saved by not having to keep him behind bars!”. I’m sure I hear at least one of my readers from across the pond absolutely Cackling in agreement on that one! But seriously, if a business or even a person has nothing to hide, what is the harm in talking with the press and addressing some of those pesky nay say’ers?

The one thing I didn't see and wanted to see was some kind of analysis that showed how many businesses had been driven out of business or forced to move over sea’s because of Amazon? Quite a few celebrity authors and book sells are currently at war with Amazon because of their heavy handed tactics. But I’ll be the first to admit I buy and read a lot of books and Amazon has made it affordable for me. I certainly never got that treatment from B. Dalton’s or some of the other “big box” book retailers. The down side, I suppose, is that there are a lot of students out there buying their text books from Amazon at less than half price of those university book stores. Having just left a university, I can tell you there were more than a few discussions about the fat commission checks the universities got each quarter, on the backs of the students while the university was raising tuition prices, adding extra fee’s, etc. all in the name of education, which as some are finding out, isn't necessarily a guarantee of success for anyone.

I've got to tell you, there are days I really worry about how so many young people are going to find a way to support themselves in this world. Is it any wonder that so many lawyers advertise on everything from accidents to Social Security claims?

Comments (2)


Excellent blog! We need big business but we don't need to be ripped off by them!

When my son went to the University of Wisconsin, he never bought a book and was on the Dean's list! He is very intelligent! He has a photographic memory. Not everyone can do this. He told me that he used the library. He went on to law school and today he is a very good attorney and prosecutor.

I agree that our young people who are coming out of college now are going to find the life and jobs are going to be a lot more competitive. I wish all of them the very best! thumbs up
As a writer who is published on Amazon I must remind, the five big publishing houses that have monopolized the publishing industry squash innovation and free thinking, treat authors like cows to be intellectually milked and fed the peanuts left over after said houses have drunk the cream of the profits. They pay little and wrest all rights from authors and often do little to actually encourage sales, expecting writers to be both the creative source and tireless promoters. Don't buy into the tripe these publishing patrons are tossing in order to try and win back a monopoly Amazon BOUGHT fair and square by giving square deals to customers and authors and paying authors well while creating an easy to use venue for self publication that encourages entrepreneurial efforts and makes excellent ideas and entertainment available when it would have otherwise been stifled or (practically) stolen by the publishing houses conglomerates. (Phee-ew! That was a long sentence!) grin

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