Software, Hardware, Silverware

Entries tagged: Amazon

What Amazon’s good at, they’re really good at. What they’re bad at, well…

Amazon Prime Air


We’re excited to share Prime Air — something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab.

The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.

This feels too futuristic. It feels like an April Fools prank four months early. They say 2015, but it doesn’t feel like it’ll ever actually happen.

The Amazonian Business Model

MG Siegler argues that Amazon’s no-profit strategy is actually genius:

But Amazon has no such problems on Wall Street. Again, they’re Bizarro Apple. They’re not showing their cards. While their businesses keep growing from a revenue perspective, profit has gone from negligible to non-existent to an actual loss this past quarter. And Wall Street loves them for it!

Why? Two reasons.

First, they know that Bezos is devouring Amazon’s profits by pouring them into infrastructure build-outs. Data centers, shipping centers, etc. These are one-time costs that should pay off in the long run.

Second, they believe that at some point in the future, Amazon will flip a switch and, voila, profit. In fact, Amazon has the ability to do it at almost anytime, as Bezos has made clear in the past, but people seem to forget.

Horace Dediu, in response:

The premise that Amazon can, on a whim, change its business model from selling other people’s products at a razor thin margin while investing in capital-intensive distribution to selling other people’s products at a large margin while not investing in capital-intesive distribution is not credible.

I would argue that Amazon’s existing business model is a direct consequence of the market it’s in: that it could not be anything else given the circumstances it finds itself in. Enlightenment may be an illusion.

Two very different interpretations of the state of Amazon. If Siegler’s right, it would surely be a remarkable achievement for Amazon. But after 15 years, you’d think the time to “flip the switch” and start making profits would have come. Dediu takes a more straightforward view: that Amazon can’t flip the switch.

Maybe they’re both right. Maybe Siegler’s right that this was Bezos’s plan all along, but maybe it hasn’t quite gone as well as he’d liked. Maybe profiteering wasn’t as easy as he prophesied.

Outlawed by Amazon

A letter from Amazon to Linn:

Dear Linn,

As previously advised, your account has been closed, as it has come to our attention that this account is related to a previously blocked account. While we are unable to provide detailed information on how we link related accounts, please know that we have reviewed your account on the basis of the information provided and regret to inform you that it will not be reopened.

Please understand that the closure of an account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well. Thank you for your understanding with our decision.

I appreciate this is not the outcome you hoped for and apologize for any disappointment this may cause.


Michael Murphy
Executive Customer Relations

Linn’s only ever had one Amazon account, which is now erased permanently, her books taken away, her Kindle wiped. Amazon refuses to tell her why. Amazon is awesome.

Amazon Introduces the Kindle Fire HD

Amazon has pre-announced both the seven- and nine-inch Kindle Fire HDs two and a half months in advance. I wonder why.

Kindle, 90 Days Later

Shawn Blanc:

The Kindle’s E-Ink screen is so much better for reading than the iPad’s backlit display. However, what I appreciate even more than the screen is the Kindle’s size and weight. The iPad is not comfortably held for long periods of time and is nearly impossible to use with one hand. The Kindle blows the iPad out of the water in this regard.

The way I see it, the Kindle is like an iPod nano. You can play music and read books on an iPad, but in an ideal world, you could read on a Kindle and listen to your iPod.