Bezo’s Statement

Jeff Bezo’s statement to the Judiciary committee is excellent. Here’s one of many quotable parts:

Amazon’s success was anything but preordained. Investing in Amazon early on was a very risky proposition. From our founding through the end of 2001, our business had cumulative losses of nearly $3 billion, and we did not have a profitable quarter until the fourth quarter of that year. Smart analysts predicted Barnes & Noble would steamroll us, and branded us “Amazon.toast.” In 1999, after we’d been in business for nearly five years, Barron’s headlined a story about our impending demise “Amazon.bomb.” My annual shareholder letter for 2000 started with a one-word sentence: “Ouch.” At the pinnacle of the internet bubble our stock price peaked at $116, and then after the bubble burst our stock went down to $6. Experts and pundits thought we were going out of business. It took a lot of smart people with a willingness to take a risk with me, and a willingness to stick to our convictions, for Amazon to survive and ultimately to succeed.

Read the whole thing.

Comments

Get no one asks why/how a business that hemorrhages money for years and years can still attract "investors".

In completely unrelated news, Bezos' ex is giving away billions of "his" money to progressive and SJW causes.

There's MUCH more to story hiding in the background about how lil' Jeff Bezos (formally of D.E. Shaw) managed to have deep pocketed investors keep him afloat for years and years.
I don't take this on face value and anyone who does is a fool.

"There's MUCH more to story hiding in the background ..."

What, he's one of the lizard people?

No you dumb-dumb. But the story of Jeff Bezos is not the story of some poor guy sweating it out in his garage, down to his last few dollars, as much as he wants people to believe that.

Well tell us the bloody story then.

Or he can keep pretending he knows more than he does.

Respond

Add Comment

+1 dairime recognized the trained marxist scam
dairime questioned the trained marxist scam

Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap!

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

He’s a hyper connected Princeton grad who was kept afloat because of those connections. It’s not some grand conspiracy but Bezos isn’t Henry Ford or Estée Lauder. He’s more like mitt Romney. Someone who knew that hard work was always going to be rewarded. Hard work is a lot easier when risk is removed.

"It is better that a man should tyrannise over his bank balance than over his fellow-citizens; and whilst the former is sometimes denounced as being but a means to the latter, sometimes at least it is an alternative. But it is not necessary for the stimulation of these activities and the satisfaction of these proclivities that the game should be played for such high stakes as at present. Much lower stakes will serve the purpose equally well, as soon as the players are accustomed to them. The task of transmuting human nature must not be confused with the task of managing it. Though in the ideal commonwealth men may have been taught or inspired or bred to take no interest in the stakes, it may still be wise and prudent statesmanship to allow the game to be played, subject to rules and limitations, so long as the average man, or even a significant section of the community, is in fact strongly addicted to the money-making passion."

John M. Keynes

Respond

Add Comment

Yesssssssss. Good, good. Give in to the hate and your turn to the Dark Side will be complete.

Because it makes perfect sense that all those rich people would be willing to just toss money to the 'connected' Bezos to the tune of several billion dollars just for the sake of keeping his vanity project afloat?

Not because they saw a really risky - but extremely valuable if it works out - opportunity and understood that you have to have a planning timeline longer than the next election.

No, his private equity buddies had faith that as long as they kept the thing afloat while it ran massive losses every quarter by selling its products at a loss, it would eventually be able to undercut first bookstores, then every other form of retail, using predatory pricing, driving them all out of business and inheriting the entire retail sector.

This pandemic is the final stake through the heart of retail. That means the beginning of phase 2 of the Amazon private-equity playbook: now that you've monopolized the entire retail sector, start jacking up prices, squeezing suppliers and customers, skimping on customer service, and doing everything else monopolists love doing.

So then you've just undercut Buckalew's narrative that he's being bankrolled because of his connections.

How? He used his private connections to subsidize the money losing operations needed to dominate the market. It's the same strategy as Uber tried and many traditional monopolists use.

Amazon had already started jacking up prices and delivery and stocking had already been getting less reliable when COVID struck. To be fair, COVID actually provided an opening for others like Walmart to build an online presence.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Ahhh yes, the predatory pricing model. I'm sure you'll be back to amend your comment when prices do NOT start going up at Amazon? What's the timeline for this predatory pricing model to kick in? Under a year?

"Monopolized the entire retail sector" - did you read Bezos' statement? They have less than 1% of the global market, and 4% of the domestic market. That hardly sounds like monopolization to me.

Ten minutes ago I read a statistic about Amazon third party sellers: five years ago Amazon was taking a 19% cut of every sale. It's now 30%. If that's not rent-seeking, then I don't know what that term means. Amazon's rent-seeking squeezes actual suppliers, who will have to increase prices or go out of business (leaving more business for Amazon subsidiary Zappos). Yes, let's see how that plays out.

I don't understand how charging vendors for your platform is rent-seeking. 30% for the services rendered seems eminently reasonable to me. If it were really so unreasonable, I'd expect the 3rd-party suppliers to leave in droves. Instead, they are doing more business with Amazon than ever.

Think about it - as a supplier of some product, if you go on Amazon's platform, you have instant access to their entire customer base - customers get to search for your products alongside every Amazon product. You get access to a massive market at relatively low cost.

Vendors are of course welcome to sell their wares on competing sites - Etsy's pricing scheme seems a bit more complex, but is probably cheaper. However, you obviously don't get access to the same market of buyers: https://www.etsy.com/sell#:~:text=A%20listing%20lasts%20for%20four,when%20an%20item%20is%20sold.

In the end really, none of this is relevant to the point I was making, which is that I don't think Amazon is engaging in 'predatory pricing', which wouldn't even make sense anyway given that they don't have enough of the market to do so (1% globally, 4% domestically).

"If it were really so unreasonable, I'd expect the 3rd-party suppliers to leave in droves."

Unless they have no competitor to go to, in which case they are stuck with Amazon. Being able to raise your fee from 19% to 30%, without losing customers -- if that isn't market power, then what is?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Are you in PE? Know many of the players? It’s not a meritocracy in the least. The risk tolerance for someone connected is way higher than it is for the non-connected. If Jeff Bezos was the plucky outsider he claimed to be he’d be a bankrupt dude unable to ruin his marriage banging a slutty six at best. Again Jeff Bezos is lying about his background.

Are you?

Again - your assertion is that he's been bankrolled for TWENTY FIVE YEARS by people who are doing so solely because of his connections. From college. Because all his fellow grads made a shit-ton of money immediately after college and were willing to keep 'poor Jeff' afloat?

A ridiculous fantasy only a devout anti-capitalist would insist on. Plus it's ignorant. Amazon's business model featured negative working capital, so it's cash flows were generally pretty good even while recording losses. So it was really Amazon's suppliers and vendors that financed them through the harder times rather than banker connections.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Making connections is part of being an entrepreneur. Completely unremarkable. A major part of the work of starting up and running a successful business is building and maintaining a robust network of contacts who can provide leads on investors, suppliers, and future employees. Building these networks is a talent in its own right and Jeff Bezos was not born into a family where this network already existed for him. And even knowing rich people is no guarantee of success as wealthy people are used to receiving pitches for far-fetched business ideas. Regardless of your connections, you need to have a good idea and be able to sell it. Bezos said his work at D.E. Shaw helped him understand the world of investing and how to talk to investors.

Respond

Add Comment

Another part of the tech ecosystem is that the relationship between founders and investors is fairly transactional once the business is up and running. A founder may think he is friends with the investors but that "friendship" is not going to last if he fails to deliver as promised. Investors can forgive and understand years of losses but you need to show results such as revenue growth or growth in the user base. Founder CEOs who fail to deliver are mercilessly cast aside in this world and who you got drunk in college with really doesn't matter when the board is reviewing your performance.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"There's MUCH more to story hiding in the background about how lil' Jeff Bezos (formally of D.E. Shaw) managed to have deep pocketed investors keep him afloat for years and years."

It is a normal part of the early-stage tech scene for companies to lose money for the first few years. Investors look for companies that can grow revenue exponentially or even companies that can grow clients and users exponentially with the aim of helping them figure out how to monetize their service in the future (Facebook and Google, for instance). There's nothing remarkable about this. Look at Uber, which has gone longer than Amazon did without posting serious profits.

I can't speak to what the VC and early-stage start-up scene was like in the mid-90s but I seem to remember that investors were quite willing to place big bets on start-ups back then. Then these companies got offloaded onto the investing public which also pumped money into them and fueled the dotcom bubble. But, of course, Amazon survived the crash.

It is also a normal part of the tech startup world to have privileged access to people who can loan them capital. The "friends and acquaintances" round of funding wouldn't work for some people the way it does for others, but it's a standard expectation in the business world. If there is something illegal about people having inequitable access to other people's capital, the tax payers would have to get ready to shell out billions to close down all sorts of enterprises. "No fair" isn't much of a platform for improving society.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"have deep pocketed investors keep him afloat for years and years."

Yep, workers have the deepest pockets because their jobs keep putting money in their pockets.

Sources of cash:
Most important, workers, buying books, then CDs, DVDs
Workers saving for retirement, funding bonds to build capital
Workers using savings to bid up Amazon stock so Amazon never had to repay bonds

The cash raised is paid to workers, not to rent seekers and monopolists.

Amazon lost money because capital is depreciated much faster than it losses value, often immediately expensed as the GOP has desperately sought tax dodges to offer corporations after starting from the Keynes tax dodges they vilified in the 60s which promoted corporations paying all profits to workers to build new capital.

Remember the cry to eliminate tax dodges to lower the tax rates. I remember the Milton Friedman columns complaining too many workers were paid to build too much capital, eg, oil well, factories, telephone switches, power plants, which produced too much stuff forcing prices down so workers paid to much could buy it requiring bigger houses, big garages, on bigger plots of land, which led to too many tax backed road, water, sewer, school, utility construction bonds to pay even more "too many" workers, putting more too much money in consumer pockets.

Milton Friedman got MBAs to destroy Sears which until the 80s paid too many workers to build too many stores selling too much at low prices to too many workers paid too much to work.

Then Jeff Bezos reinvented Sears 110 years after Sears was invented, selling books instead of watches. So far, he's followed the Sear playbook at about twice the speed. Sears didn't sell houses mail order for 30 years but Amazon already sells houses mail order, though mostly tiny houses not the Sears full size house kits.

Sears was called a threat not that long ago for being too big in too many businesses. It was targeted for antitrust circa 1950, so Amazon got too big 2-3 times faster.

But its GOP tax law getting workers to save too much creating pools of too much money funding Amazon paying too many workers to build too much capital that requires it sell too much stuff at too low prices that only cover the labor costs of producing and delivering stuff to workers with too much money they spend consuming too much stuff.

An evil Keynes plot to pay too many workers too much to consume too much creating demand for Amazon. But not Trump brand rents. Trump inc had to abandon the dream of high profit Trump resorts in Red States.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The early investors in Amazon were right. Amazon is profitable now and the people who bought early got rich.

I always distinguish "they were right" and "it turned out that they were right". When they made the decision they were neither 'right' nor 'wrong'. They were speculating and, in this case, they won. That's not the same as being right.

“They were only right LATER, so it doesn’t count!”

I bet you’re a laugh riot at poker games.

“Well of course I went all in on this pair of 2s! It was the best hand I could see!”

It's a case of Survivor Bias. That doesn't make you right, it makes you lucky.

Yup. In the universe next door, everything is the same except Wally runs Amazon.

Respond

Add Comment

I’m not sure what argument you’re trying to make. If you make bad bets in poker and win then yes you win those hands and no one can dispute it, but you’ll get torn to shreds by better players over the course the entire game and over multiple games. You can’t evaluate if a bet was good by the single result alone.

Responded to the wrong person. Why is there no edit button?

Respond

Add Comment

"If you make bad bets in poker... "
If good and bad bets were discernible beforehand it wouldn't be poker. The point of a 'bet' is to gamble, to take chances on unknown outcomes.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Your poker analogy sucks.

I bet it doesn’t.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

I mean, name a better way to be right.

Schrödinger's draw to fill an inside straight.
Results make right?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

A common model in the tech industry is to grow revenue exponentially while keeping costs linear and plan on making profits starting in year 5 plus or minus.

+1, that's the tech industry model. It's always been the software industry model, because software has a very low marginal costs. Certain tech products (CPU's, etc) also have a low marginal cost.

However, Pushes into other technologies, electric cars, smart phones, PCs, etc aren't really much different than traditional industries.

Amazon is a hybrid case, obviously Kindle books, Amazon prime, and the software checkout all benefit from classic software industry very low marginal costs. But the core of the business, on-line sales, is very much a traditional business model that is relying on economies of scale, marketing and good customer service.

Last quarter Amazon posted $5.2 billion in net operating income, of which $3.4 billion came from AWS. Amazon is a cloud company first, whose cash flow fuels the retail juggernaut.

At this point yes, but Amazon has been around for 26 years. AWS revenue was close to small in 2009. So, I agree that over the last decade AWS has shined, but the retail juggernaut was already established before it was relevant.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Formally D. E. Shaw? Who? What?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Isn't all their profit from web services, still? Did they ever turn a profit on their book business?

Anyways, they have been very succesful, just like standard oil, and now they are a predatory monopolist that is destroying the next wave of business startups and acting like a totalitarian government. Time to break them up. Breaking them up is a compliment to their success.

Was Standard Oil even a predatory monopolist?

Yes.

No.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Whole lot of personal narrative and not a whole lot of "we're not a monopoly and here's why". I wonder why?

Personal and about the company I think. Its success was anything but guaranteed. That seems historically correct.
Is it a monopoly ? We cannot shop at Walmart ? Is the consumer harmed ?

Amazon's anti-monopoly issue is more w.r.t. AWS than the store.

Also relevant is whether buying up companies might "tend to create a monopoly," particularly if you consider these companies as being in the business of "controlling the world's data" (like they themselves do). The approvals to buy Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc were really quite shocking.

If only there weren't a dozen other ways to host compute on the internet. Maybe Google or Microsoft should consider getting into that space.

Microsoft is about as relevant in cloud as they are in search, and even at that, most of their revenue comes from Office 365. Google barely exists.

proving how little you know

Respond

Add Comment

While it's hard to find good data, MS is likely as big as AWS. Some reports have it larger, and others not. Probably very similar in size.

Respond

Add Comment

A google search said 34 % AMZN ,17% MSFT.
From its earning report a week ago , In the fourth quar­ter Mi­crosoft’s in­tel­li­gent-cloud seg­ment, which in­cludes its Azure ser­vice, booked rev­enue of $13.37 bil­lion, up 17% from a year ear­lier.

There a lot of different data, but both look like they between $45-55 B a year. I think for MS that includes some licensing revenue that AWS doesn't have, so not apples to apples. Either way, AWS has a third of the market, so by no way is a monopoly.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

It's more that Amazon steals the ideas of smaller startups after pretending to invest in them, and then proceeds to crush with all that scooped intel.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-tech-startup-echo-bezos-alexa-investment-fund-11595520249

Yes , I had read that and I am glad it’s highlighted but that’s just an illegal practice, if NDAs are signed, rather than a monopolistic one and hopefully they can get redress in court.

You don't need to have a complete monopoly to be in restraint of trade. You just have to control a large sector and use your power ruthlessly. There were computer companies besides IBM, but the government mandated open system. You could buy Agfa film, but Kodak had to open its chemical film processing business. Xerox competed against a variety of wet process copying systems, but they were forced to license all but their toner sealing process. You can go down the list. It isn't just prices and lack of alternatives, it is how the power is being used in restraint of trade.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Thanks for highlighting that you didn't actually read the letter.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

@ Mr C: his name appears to be Bezos not Bezo. Maybe you are confusing it with Bozo?

Oops, Mr T. Apols to Mr C.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Amazon should be Exhibit A whenever anyone argues about so-called quarterly capitalism. The stock market is actually the very thing that enables long-term thinking because companies’ long-term prospects become embedded into their stock price and managers can be compensated accordingly. Without a stock market, there would be no way to give managers feedback about how they are impacting the company’s long-term prospects and more managers would act like politicians juicing up profits during their tenure through unsustainable means and leaving their successors to deal with the mess. Congrats to Bezos; it would be a lot harder to get through this pandemic without Amazon.

The long term thinking was that Amazon would establish a network effect monopoly, which it did.

A stock market that can only focus on short term returns or natural monopolies like network effect monopolies is not exactly a good argument for its long term focus.

“Network effect monopoly” except that Amazon’s two primary businesses are full of huge active competitors.

Or did people quit shopping at Walmart and buying cloud from Microsoft? In what universe is Amazon still not fighting tooth and nail in its primary spaces? Where is the consumer getting gouged by Amazon holding all the cards? Come now, present some evidence for this position.

Amazon had a huge government subsidy during a crucial stage. They avoided sales tax which Walmart could not.

Alex also ignores that while Amazon is a success story, is their current monopoly or near-monopoly position a good thing going forward. You could tell the same story about IBM or Standard Oil and they were broken up. If the government hadn't gone after IBM would Microsoft exist?

"Amazon had a huge government subsidy during a crucial stage. They avoided sales tax which Walmart could not."

+1, that's the biggest gripe against Amazon

I don't agree. The exact same thing was available to Walmart. All the rules about physical store presence came later.

" All the rules about physical store presence came later."

No, that's incorrect. Physical presence was required from 1992 until the Supreme Court over turned it in 2018,.

https://www.thetaxadviser.com/issues/2018/sep/supreme-court-abolishes-physical-presence-requirement.html

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Walmart could have decided to sell stuff in states without a physical presence. In order to maintain this "subsidy," Amazon had to avoid placing distribution centers or other physical assets in states, which pretty significantly limited their logistics.

"Walmart could have decided to sell stuff in states without a physical presence."

Walmart had a physical presence in across the country by that point.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

But as a customer, I find it much more convenient now that Amazon collects the tax so I no longer have to calculate the use tax every year. It was just one more burden in a stressful filing process. So now I am more likely to buy from Amazon than before (plus, OK, the pandemic thing). Bottom line: Amazon's earlier practice of not calculating the tax for customers was a competitive disadvantage, not advantage, as far as I'm concerned.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The big Wall Street investment banks are the exhibits against this, though. Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns all started out as partnerships. The managing partners by and large were cautious about the risks they took so that they could preserve the wealth they had in the company. Then, someone had the brilliant idea of investment banks being publicly traded companies and these three companies went public in the 80s and 90s. This roughly coincided with the period when they started trading on their own account and behaving less like financial intermediaries than like hedge funds that made highly leveraged bets on securities and derivatives. And we all know how that turned out.

The point is that private companies held by investment funds or holding companies can also make long-term investments and be held accountable to certain metrics by their owners. In a world with less wealth inequality, the stock market was the only way to get access to huge pool of capital but that is no longer true.

Isn't it the case that the former 5 bulge bracket banks (Merrill, Morgan Stanley, Goldman, Lehman and Bear) were the survivors from among what had once been a hundred partnerships? Long before the financial crisis, Shearson, Loeb Rhoades, Hornblower Weeks, Blyth Eastman Dillon, Paine Webber, etc. had gone extinct.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"Amazon should be Exhibit A whenever anyone argues about so-called quarterly capitalism."

Amazon is the exception not the rule for "manage by quarter" so it is misleading to make it the top example. Exhibit A is rightfully most of the non-tech S&P 500 where spreadsheets, financial engineering, and corner cutting produces a little more profit per share (mostly through buybacks) with worse outcomes for other stakeholders and in some cases requiring bailouts from the public coffers.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

So .... because he took a gambled and used to have it tough, he can be as much of a pain, to put it no stronger, to anyone he likes regardless of the law?

It is a good thing he took the risk. He ought to allow other people to as well.

He never really had it tough.

Respond

Add Comment

It’s not an argument. It’s a performance - political theatre. He’s trying to shape perception for congress and for the American public. The arguments will come later, during the hearing and with his legal and lobbying teams who are no doubt working overtime.

Calling him there was political theater, so he obliged.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Why did investors stick with Amazon when its business plan (selling at a loss) would never generate a profit (it took something entirely unrelated and unexpected, the cloud, to generate profits)? Because Amazon would end retail as we know it and then raise prices and generate profits at the expense of consumers. Of course, what happened is a combination of (a) the cloud (profits), (b) a change in consumer behavior triggered and enhanced by Amazon's relatively low prices, convenience, and a decline in competition from brick and mortar retail, and (c) the Fed's policy of doing "whatever it takes" to maintain stock prices. Does Bezos deserve a tongue lashing for this? I don't think so. Does Bezos sugar-coat the past with his statement? Absolutely. What we know is that very few are good at predicting the future, and even fewer are good at identifying those who will make the future and (this is the big one) following them.

Sorry rayward, when it comes to tech you are sooo out of your depth. it is embarrassing, especially because you "sound" reasonable, evenhanded and well-informed on other subjects.

This gem:
" Of course, what happened is a combination of (a) the cloud (profits),"

Please tell me how AWS raises profits *at the expense of the consumer (user)*. My company(s) are avid users of AWS. We are in the fintech/ecommerce space and per euro (I am in Europe) of revenue, are IT costs (compute, storage, web, etc) are literally <1% of those of comparable non-cloud competitors.

Without AWS we would have to deal with the buggy Microsoft offering (also a so-called monopolist back in the day). Without Microsoft we wouldn't have business.

So please tell me how the Amazon cloud disadvantages consumers/users like me.

uch *our IT costs

Respond

Add Comment

The cloud generated the profits that gave Amazon the breathing room to continue with its digital retail strategy. Did Bezos know that the opportunity to invest in a cloud business would come along and generate profits? I doubt it. But Amazon's stock price, which had an infinite PE ratio, allowed Bezos access to funds for him to build the cloud business. It's ending retail as we know it (pricing competitors out of business) and then raising prices that would hurt consumers. I assume that Bezos didn't know the pandemic would come along and accelerate the shift in retail to digital. Do you know something sinister about Bezos we don't know? Alas, critical reading skills are a lost art.

They didn't have to invest much. Thanks to the price drops for components over twenty years, the production systems they already had possessed a large surplus of compute, RAM, storage and network. They just needed a method to utilize it and generate revenue.

In the twenty-plus years I was a network engineer, I was privileged to see the insides of two different Google datacenter facilities - hundreds of thousands of computers all linked together into one massive entity through a proprietary hardware/software system engineered by a guy who looked like just stepped out of Woodstock in '69. It was breathtaking to see. The amount of compute, memory and storage alone in just *one* facility was staggering. Now multiply that by at least 50 (I have no idea how many facilities they have, but it's a good guess) and one can easily see how they would end up with a *very* large surplus. A surplus that they've already paid for...

It was a no-brainer to task their engineers with a way to use that capacity and what they came up with was a testosterone-boosted version of what used to be called "shared hosting." In fact, I still call "The Cloud" shared hosting because that's technically what it is although it is indeed shared hosting on steroids.

I don't doubt that both Amazon and Microsoft were (and are still) in similar situations with plenty of under or unutilized compute, RAM, storage, and network.

Respond

Add Comment

And yet the price increases never came. And when have the price increases ever come before? They remain a theoretical bogeyman to this day

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Which entity operates more efficiently and in the general public interest -- Amazon or Congress ??

no contest... Congress is a permanent, grossly dysfunctional disaster to the American public.

Respond

Add Comment

For people who maybe legitimately don't understand why Amazon is a monopoly: diapers.com doesn't exist anymore. It was a website for diapers and such. Amazon wanted their business. Because Amazon had such deep pockets, Amazon offered parents deep discounts and free diapers for years if people would switch business. Amazon's diapers business wasn't profitable, but it became clear it would be the only game in town. So they won, and then they jacked up prices. That's how monopolies work.

For people who think anything that makes money means the business is morally correct: Slavery made money. Was government impinging upon free trade when it ended slavery? Saying "invisible hand" is a shallow answer. Government breaking up monopolies can be the invisible hand of the market at work too - the market forces are just collecting their will in a particular fashion.

It's sad that so many people on an economics blog still hold the "it makes money so it's good" belief. Wolf of Wall Street didn't have the happiest ending.

Diapers are generally cheaper on Amazon than at my local grocery store.

diapers.com (the sister websites) were a bad business model. They were selling diapers at a loss hoping to generate brand loyalty and generate profits elsewhere. When Amazon bought them they operated the sites as is for a period of time - but they never were profitable so they shut it down. There is absolutely nothing nefarious about any of that and but its the example that everyone uses. The biggest tell is that no one ever has data to back up their wrong narrative.

Respond

Add Comment

And that proves what?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

What on earth are you talking about? Who is saying “if it makes money it’s good?” No ultra-laissez fairs libertarian takes this position.

And no Amazon is not a monopoly. There are countless websites selling the same things as Amazon; most stores sell online now; and plenty of people like me who regularly check other book selling sites to see if the prices are cheaper than Amazon. Guess what? They almost never are (and never more than a few cents) because the market is in fact quite competitive.

Respond

Add Comment

The collapse of a business is not evidence that a wholly different business in the same market is a monopoly, unless no other business is in competition with it.

There are plenty of places to buy diapers and Amazon is one of the cheapest. Prove that diaper prices have risen and you’d begin to have a point. Prove that Amazon controls that price and you’d have an argument. Right now you’ve got nothing but a cool story about an opinion with no numbers or dates.

Respond

Add Comment

Please do take note of the growth in small ecommerce sites that Shopify has enabled. Direct competition to Amazon.

Do you know anyone operating small business on the internet? Amazon is going to be facing steep headwinds as companies that enable marketing and payments cooperate with 3rd party logistics warehouses to make almost anyone with a brand sell goods on the internet less expensively or more attractively than Amazon.

Amazon is the farthest thing from a monopoly you can imagine.

Respond

Add Comment

"and then they jacked up prices"

When?

Respond

Add Comment

I used to buy pampers from amazon buy switched to target brand because they’re cheaper and better than pampers. Amazon does not have a monopoly in selling diapers.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

I was a big supporter of Amazon since Barnes & Noble switched from discounting all their books 20% to only discounting Oprah club books (bestsellers) 49-50%. But now I’m trying to reduce my Amazon footprint. I find the main reason I buy from them is due to convenience made by their technology. I can actually find most things I buy from them -aside from books- for basically the same price on other sites.

Covid saved Amazon’s bacon. conspiracy theorists should check into it.

Before Covid, Walmart was taking a run at them. Strong product brands are starting to look for alternatives to subjecting themselves to amazon. The press was clueing into the sweatshop business model. The GOP is trying hard to kill the USPS. Prices were becoming opaque. Private label imitation crap was starting to crowd search results. Counterfeits were becoming a major problem...

What Amazon has is convenience. which is is fragile, but also self perpetuating if it is the only game in town.

After a decade or two of Apple and Chrome dominance, it’s difficult to remember that Microsoft really was a monopoly at one point. and indeed we and they suffered from the way Microsoft stifled innovation , and made an increasing number of its customers miserable.

Even respected, popularly accepted monopolies stifle competition.
If AT&T had not been broken up decades ago we would not have cell phones today. They would never had made the investment, would never have accepted the technology and, to an absolute certainty would never have ended up with 'free long-distance' or 'unlimited data' or any of the many other things that make up the phone universe today.

And in turn, the cell companies are now nearing anti-competitive status...

Respond

Add Comment

Microsoft tried, but it got sued for antitrust by the Clinton administration. That's why companies like Amazon and Google and Facebook exist rather than lame Microsoft sub-equivalents.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

>Microsoft really was a monopoly at one point.

It's also worth remembering that antitrust regulators forced Microsoft to open a number of its protocols and limited how it could bundle products.

Yup, Microsoft didn't un-monopolize itself. And the "markets" didn't do it either.

It took some pushing by government, esp. European.

What the markets did (in the form of hopeful competitors) was to beg the governments to do something to break MS up.

Nope. It was the markets. You could always download and use another browser. IE was king because it was the best, and then the same for Chrome. Build it and they will come. The anti trust work was to get tech companies to donate to the political parties. MS had no presence on K street until the DOJ got them involved.

It's interesting, and a little weird, how so many people seem to actually believe that the US is the only country on the planet.

https://www.dw.com/en/microsoft-slapped-with-biggest-fine-in-eu-history/a-1149932

-1, bigoted comment, ie stereotyping people in ways that are untrue.

Pointing out that the EU is almost a large an economy as the US is "bigoted"?

George, how dumb do you think people are? They can read your statement above. Trying to claim you made a completely different statement is anonymous level stupidity.

Here is what you actually said: "how so many people seem to actually believe that the US is the only country on the planet."

I don't know how dumb people are. But you seem pretty dumb trying to twist that into bigotry

Bigotry is being intolerant of other groups of people. Particularly stereotyping people in ways that are untrue.

That is what you did. You were called out for it. You could just apologize for making the comment. Or you could double down on a comment that was uncharitable and untrue.

You're hallucinating

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

meanwhile
todays best not satire/ newwoketimes.con headline
"Help Me Find Trump’s ‘Anarchists’ in Portland"
todays oregonian headline
"Man knifed in back at Portland protest: ‘I was stabbed for being a conservative journalist’

‘I was stabbed for being a conservative journalist’

Usually when I see a headline like that, it is sandwiched between an ad for prepper food supplies, an offer to invest in gold, and a book about how the elites are hiding the truth about sanitizing oneself by huffing Lysol.

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2020/07/man-knifed-in-back-at-portland-protest-i-was-stabbed-for-being-a-conservative-journalist.html

A black Trump supporter was stabbed in Portland last week. Another black Trump supporter was shot to death in Milwaukee last week.

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/07/27/murder-of-black-trump-super-supporter-bernell-trammell-leads-to-calls-for-federal-probe-952164

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

When I check out the story I see a bunch of stuff I've already bought too. (Mostly HVAC tools for a project I have going)

not satire
in todays newwoketimes.con/nicholas christiffs narrative, they went looking for an anarchist but found a radiologist!
in portland sumbodys body did did actually get stabbed in a riot
narrative meet news
news meet narrative
one of the lefts trained marxist scams is to mischaracterize violence.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

I highly recommend both the PBS documentary on Amazon and David Dayen's book, Monopolized, for in-depth work on how Amazon works.

Respond

Add Comment

It's a network effect monopoly. Not a better mouse trap. Most buyers and sellers have to go there because that's where most buyers and sellers are already.

Network effect monopolies are rent seekers that need to be broken up.

LOL, “have to.” As if there aren’t a thousand places one can buy any of the thousand things Amazon sells.

You argument would make sense if most retail activity, even just in the US, went through Amazon. It doesn’t.

"would make sense if most retail activity, even just in the US, went through Amazon."

Maybe not. But most online activity sure as hell does

They’re at about 44% of e-commerce, or about 5% of total retail

It's kind of like talking about the US defense budget.

Look! Russia is number 4!

You're reading a lot into a comment that simply isn't there. Adding the numbers just gives everyone a reference point.

fair enough. context is good. we need more of it.

In my defense, it's in reply to a comment trying to make the case that Amazon isn't that large.

PS, apparently Amazon just hit 49%. Like I said, they owe Covid a big thank you

Is there any other major industry where 44% of revenue is one firm?

Honestly can’t think of any

Boeing.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Bezos quoted 1% of worldwide.

I assume your 5% is US, which is ~ consistent with 1% worldwide.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Amazon is not a monopoly.
Congres is definitely a monopoly.

Apparently for many people, government monopolies & private, government-enforced monopolies are just wonderful and highly beneficial to society.

True economic monopolies can not exist in genuine free markets -- and there are zero historical examples of actual economic monopolies within free markets.

Congress is a monopoly engaged in public sector rent seeking.

Amazon is a network effect monopoly engaged in private sector rent seeking.

Most people use Amazon because of the network effect - most buyers/sellers are already on there.

yup, and thats why they should be prohibited from engaging in their own labels and forced to share all information with sellers (sellers can't even get their buyers email.) In Europe, you couldn't monopolize the natural gas lines just because you owned them. you had to rent space at fair prices. Forcing the gas monopolists to share distribution made for a much more fair market. I think something similar could be done to Amazon's distribution.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Anyone who can read a balance sheet knows that most of Amazon's profit comes from the web service division.

It often surprises laypeople to learn that companies often are not in the business of doing what you think they are doing.

The classic example is life insurance companies that merely sell insurance to get cash so they can be investment companies.

And banks, which only accept deposits so they can run the pile of cash over to the craps table

Banks? I think you mean investment banks.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Amazon is a cloud company that subsidizes a zero net income retail operation.

Amazon retail is profitable (billions), and has been for years as can easily be discovered by a web search, though AWS is much more profitable. Additionally, unlike, say, Apple, they do considerable reinvestment into new business ideas and products, which makes profit comparisons hard.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Anyone who reads balance sheets knows that profits are listed no where thereon. And I suspect that many people who CAN read a balance sheet, probably even numerous people who do it as part of their job, have no idea where Amazon makes its profits.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Sorry, Tyler, “excellency” is not the word that came to my mind reading this piece. It was cringe-inducing reading such a perfect example of sanction of the victim.

It is almost physically painful to see a man that created so much value for society through the free market’s voluntary transactions, have to ask forgiveness for it.

In it, I just saw the profoundly unjust obligation of the Individual to bow to the Collective’s bestiality. Less violent perhaps, but just like the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The essay is amazing. It's a case study.

Austrian economics have no chance when governments allow monopolies. Amazon has monopoly power that stifles innovation.

Diapers.com was an example above. Another is here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojGveiE51Hk&t=5s

I think what they have done is Amazing. Bezos deserves all the credit in the world. But markets can't function when there are monopolies like Amazon; to the detriment of consumers.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

All of which is true and all of which is irrelevant to anti-trust. Rockefeller took risks and toughed out hard times. The issues are size and competition.

Respond

Add Comment

Just because Amazon is good service doesn't mean you have to idolize Bezos as he states panders like this to Congress:

"Even as we remember Congressman John Lewis and honor his legacy, we're in the middle of a much-needed race reckoning."

Can't say I have sympathy for him as "anti-fascists" and "protesters" continue to trash his stores in Seattle as he panders to them.

Respond

Add Comment

I guess for AT, this is the early, heady days of "spelling reform", when fans of his work will have to be patient and show a good deal of resolve. I'm not going to follow; punctuation revolt is the movement I need.

Respond

Add Comment

Still ample room for this or something like it:

philanthropy from a cardboard box

philanthropy corrugated with smirks
printed on every cardboard box and room
each cardboard house with every cardboard door.

(cardboard comes in many grades, we recall,
what's made today can be sturdy and stiff:
the printed smirks point to where the doors go.)

portable cardboard houses are sturdy
conferring portable charm when winds blow
leaving little ash from any rude match.

"billions for millions!" philanthropies claimed:
when did philanthropies become so lame?

Respond

Add Comment

I read Bezo's statement yesterday. My reaction was that it sounded good, and told true things, but it didn't tell all the true things in the world. It didn't balance things. FWIW, my response to Bezo would be something like:

"Congratulations, you have risen from humble beginnings to grab the brass ring. You've built an American success, to the level of monopoly. But, being that level of success, there are certain things we'll ask you to do, like limiting the leverage your monopoly applies going forward, and we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax."

"But again, Congratulations!"

Not everyone reaches this level, nor reaches these responsibilities.

(But honestly, Bezo should not be our biggest concern WRT the American way of life on July 30, 2020. Especially in terms of attempts to gather power to one person.)

The tax code is the tax code. No one is asking.

What kind of imbecile are you, really? As if there has only ever been one corporate tax code, or one billionaire's tax code in America?

As if we have no choices going forward?

Straight to ad hominem, okay Boomer.

The tax code is the tax code. Amazon pays what the tax code says it owes, and Bezos pays what the tax code says he owes. There's no asking involved anywhere in the process.

Amazon retains its profits and plows it back into investment, which is why it has a low tax bill. So sure, I guess. You can change the tax code to make investment financially nonviable. Great idea

Bezos' wealth is tied up in stock. Unless you want to tax unrealized capital gains this is all just absurd pseudo-moral posturing.

You ever notice how there's no there there? Underneath the hand waving or behind the curtain, there's nothing

Should we think it's cool that you say stupid things, and no one should call you on it?

You've just rested everything on the democratically determined tax rate (past, present, and future) not being an "ask."

Moron.

More ad hominem, okay Boomer. Aside from the personal attacks there's nothing even in your comment. So here, again:

Amazon retains its profits and plows it back into investment, which is why it has a low tax bill. So sure, I guess. You can change the tax code to make investment financially nonviable. Great idea

Bezos' wealth is tied up in stock. Unless you want to tax unrealized capital gains this is all just absurd pseudo-moral posturing.

You ever notice how there's no there there? Underneath the hand waving or behind the curtain, there's nothing

Keep waving those hands

These bizarre comments have nothing to do with my statement at 10:36 am, which was based on us all fully understanding both the tax burdens of the Amazon ecosystem, and the possibilities of change in the future.

Tbqh your original comment was entirely signaling your emotions, and thus content free.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

I guess your whole gig at this point is to be a passive-aggressive defender of the status quo.

Nowhere better illustrated than you popping up to argue about what the word "ask" means.

Keep waving those hands anon

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"Straight to ad hominem, okay Boomer."

It's often all anonymous does. Nowhere in this thread does he make anything close to a logical rebuttal.

A logical rebuttal to what, what "ask" means?

No word it's Skeptical make interesting contact with my actual comment.

Respond

Add Comment

s/b "Nowhere did Skeptical make interesting contact with my actual comment."

Respond

Add Comment

Yup. And I agree with his 10:36 comment. Skep was a little pedantic, but not by any means wrong.

Skeptical was not wrong about what? Some entirely different argument he wanted to have?

He was pedantic about your 'ask' statement. I think the way you put it was fine, but, of course, it's not an ask. Your response was a silly defense rather just calling out on the nitpicking.

Semantic complaints are the worst. Like someone's word choice should ever derail the idea.

Especially when the tax "ask" is clearly a societal choice.

A really, really, stupid complaint, and a stupid complaint to sign onto.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

I don't think Septical was pedantic. He zeroed on a very questionable word choice. You don't ask for taxes. You don't ask people to pay property taxes. You force them to pay and if they refuse you kick them out of their home, seize it and sell it to cover the taxes owed.

And if you want to change the tax code broadly to raise additional taxed the you do so and you deal with the consequences of your changes. Hiking up the marginal rate is fairly straightforward, but that wouldn't change how much Amazon has to pay. They can plow their profits back into expansion and R&D and largely avoid any increases.

So, the obvious conclusion is that anonymous meant changing the tax code in a way that would prevent Amazon from claiming deductions to the extent it does. Which would be a broad and sweeping change that would effect entire industries. Not something you casually do without a lot of forethought and without some level of risk.

Now it's quite possible that anonymous didn't consider any of this when he posted his comment. But when Skeptical replied, anonymous could have either agreed that his word choice could have been better or could have asked for clarification. Instead he went straight to using insults.

"But when Skeptical replied, anonymous could have either agreed that his word choice could have been better or could have asked for clarification. Instead he went straight to using insults."

Yep

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Amazon pays no tax because they make no profit. Bezos structures spending and expenses so it matches profits precisely. His wealth comes not from profits, but from stock investors that understand at some point Bezos will be able to snap his fingers and generate a massive profit--either by raising prices a few % OR by slowing investments in other areas OR by both.

You will have a hard time taxing that without a lot of unwanted side effects.

I'm sure you can think of a lot of taxes that they whole "Amazon system" has paid over the years, and will pay in the future.

If you think about it a little bit.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

It is really bizarre that the bottom feeders, Skeptical and JWatts, take exception with this statement:

"we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax."

Surely anyone with a whit of intelligence knows that the Amazon ecosystem pays a lot of local, state, and federal taxes now, and will in the future, as capital gains and (God bless him) estate taxes come due.

They shouldn't play the ridiculous childish game that none of that is an "ask" by our government or our society.

Of course you describe two of the most insightful commenters as "bottom feeders". Anyone who questions you now gets assailed with endless ad hominem attacks. Let your ideas stand or fall on their own merits instead of poisoning them with rancor.

I literally cannot imagine a stupider line of complaint here than "'ask' is the wrong word."

But if that's all you've got, that the nag you'll flog. Nothing bright, nothing adding insight, no improved understanding.

Just drool.

More ad hominem, quelle surprise.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Seriously, "what did you do today on the internet?"

"well, a guy said we 'ask' people to pay taxes and we all piled on him because everybody knows 'ask' is a word that can never be used with 'tax.'"

Morons? Yes, the word fits.

And even more ad hominem

You are pure troll. You came in at 11:01 am with the semantic b.s. that:

"The tax code is the tax code. No one is asking."

That clearly added nothing meaningful to this discussion, but you did succeed in getting these other morons riled up.

"You can't say 'ask' and 'tax' in the same sentence."

Morons.

And unsurprisingly, more ad hominem

I am asking you right here, right now, did you have some meaningful insight with "The tax code is the tax code. No one is asking."

???

Or was it just a b.s. complaint?

The question I suppose is what do you mean by this:

and we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax.

Honestly almost all of your comments are either entirely ad hominem or a combination of emotionalizing and hand waving, and when pressed you always refuse to give specifics and go straight to juvenile name-calling. So, anyone who engages with you does so with the understanding that it will be mostly insults and any interaction will be entirely not in good faith.

The highest probability answer is that you meant nothing by it, since you're really only ever expressing your emotional resonance and mood affiliation. Which I suppose is my meta complaint

So you had no insight, you just wanted to make a meaningless complaint.

And you are still about a mile back, in terms of the taxes on the Amazon ecosystem.

"Surely anyone with a whit of intelligence knows that the Amazon ecosystem pays a lot of local, state, and federal taxes now, and will in the future, as capital gains and (God bless him) estate taxes come due."

More ad hominem, par for the course.

You didn't answer the question at all. What do you mean by this:

and we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax.

Respond

Add Comment

Huh?

"Surely anyone with a whit of intelligence knows that the Amazon ecosystem pays a lot of local, state, and federal taxes now, and will in the future, as capital gains and (God bless him) estate taxes come due."

So again, since you always run away from specifics: What do you actually mean by this:

and we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax.

Are you telling me that you cannot visualize the Amazon ecosystem as a whole, and the vast array of taxes paid?

Are you telling me that you cannot visualize Jeff Bezos' total lifecycle tax burden?

Are you requiring that your readers not understand these very basic things?

That's a great series of deflections, so in your own words what do you mean by this:

and we'll ask you to pay a lot of tax.

Points for concise, clear. logical answers.

You can't be serious.

You have to be playing.

No one who pretends to understand MR could pretend *not* to know these things.

Respond

Add Comment

Wow you asked him what he meant about his ambiguous response 4 separate times, and he didn't give a response.

If anonymous is a bot, then he's awesome! That's some massive deflection.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"When the citizen pays his taxes, he should do it with the conviction of making a just contribution to the organized body of his fellow-citizens; and that when the State asks for taxes, it should always be under the conviction of making a just request of aid from its members."

Charles Lee Raper, 1907

Nominative determinism in action

And there we go, another empty troll.

Reading comprehension fail

I got the "joke" nimrod, "tax" by "raper."

"Nominative determinism is the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their names."

You learned something today!

And we've once again demonstrated what a smelly troll you are.

Pretending you don't understand the current and future tax liabilities on Bezos and the Amazon ecosystem, in order to pretend you had a point.

Anonymous, you are the worst commenter on the internet. This is not someone else's fault. I hope you don't share any of my opinions, because you would just discredit them. You are the very worst of the internet.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Bezos' not Bezo's

Thanks. I followed the pattern even though it felt wrong.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The end of brick and mortar retail means the end of the American Dream for most folks. Do empty strip shopping centers and malls mean nothing to readers of this blog? Now the pandemic has come along for the death blow. Readers of this blog don't work in retail, they work in offices. And the future of offices, is what? The cognitive dissonance of Americans rivals only the stupidity of Americans.

GDP dropped by 33%. Bezos gains massively from the utter destruction of physical retail. According to the usual econ talking points, all this lump of retail labor will now become R&D vaccination scientists and Amazon Cloud architects.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2020-07-30/u-s-second-quarter-gdp-posts-biggest-drop-on-record-video

Or we could hire them all to dig holes, nothing better than having people waste their precious time doing useless, outdated tasks

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Good statement, but irrelevant to the question of whether the way Amazon operates today could be improved with legislation.

Respond

Add Comment

I watched the hearing. Pretty disgusted when I saw Congresspeople asking why a company can have so much power. This coming from a legislative body with the power to literally strip the clothes off your back, seize your assets, and end your life.

I read excerpts ... and laughed at the responses to Chinese intellectual property theft and espionage.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

So? a past of not being a monopoly or having too much power has no bearing on whether it is now a monopoly or has too much power.

Respond

Add Comment

As always, I can tell when it's Alex writing the post without looking at the name, just because of glaring typos.

Yes. No self-respect, no respect for his audience. He'll smirk reading this, but it's a sad thing.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Gulag Archipelago is also excellent, but, like Bezos’ statement, it has nothing to do with the fact that Amazon is abusing it’s market power to silence views Bezos doesn’t like. You academics never fail to disappoint

Respond

Add Comment

He could also have said, Most people don't want to do this, It's a real hassle to head up a company. I'd rather be doing something fulfilling or artistic.

Respond

Add Comment

Shouldn't it be Bezos' statement ?

Unless his name is "Bezo."

Respond

Add Comment

"Shouldn't it be Bezos' statement ?"

It's "Brett Favrererer," and "Bezos's's's' statement".

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

But remember - 'capitalists are parasites who steal the excess value of the worker'.

That must be true, right? Right?!

Respond

Add Comment

Bezo?

Tyler is not very bright. He's intellectual, not intelligent.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"Disruptive technology" sometimes just means investors subsidizing below-market-value pricing until the existing businesses are destroyed and the new can emerge as the new monopolistic rent seeker that is then free to raise prices. Uber/Lyft def fit this type. Amazon? Maybe.

Respond

Add Comment

The origin story does not seem relevant one easy or another. The anti trust issue simply revolves around Amazon putting it's own products ahead of 3rd parties in the search, or using data derived from customer search for competitor products to predate on rivals

Good reasons why once upon a time retail and product manufacturing were once separate.

Respond

Add Comment

Amazon is selling at $3,051.88 per share with most recent quarterly diluted earnings per share of $5.01. It has never paid a dividend. When the bubble bursts and Amazon takes down the market and the economy with it, we will at least be able to remember what lovely testimony Bezos delivered.

Respond

Add Comment

"To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Outsized returns come from betting against conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom is usually right."

God bless Bezos!

Respond

Add Comment

I find it difficult to hate on Jeff B. He made me rich. I'd be on the street if not for Jeff. In other words, what I had and have to offer the world is worth bucks while providing many people with things they want, but without Mr. Bezos, my talents would be worth squat.
I doesn't bother me in the least that guys like Jeff, Bill, Warren, Mark and so on have billions. My needs and desires are modest. The inequality between myself and them doesn't concern in the slightest.

Respond

Add Comment

This sounds high-minded in face of the actual fact Amazon has pilfered from its clients for over a decade now. Ecommerce is a red herring, they did this with AWS. There is no reason to trust Amazon if you are a business. It is a parasite.

How did they pilfer from their clients using AWS? Most of the companies I have worked for use AWS, because they're awesome. There are competing services from other companies, so it's not like Amazon is the only company offering cloud hosting services.

Services like AWS have been a game-changer, and let you scale solutions up as needed without paying for tons of hardware up front.

Here is an article(paywall) about Amazon stealing ideas from startups: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-tech-startup-echo-bezos-alexa-investment-fund-11595520249

Here is the hacker news thread where former employees point out it was standard practice at AWS: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23929044

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment