Maybe Amazon Has No Master Plan

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What if America’s most successful companies are sometimes clueless?

Recent articles about Amazon’s projects in groceries and robots at home suggest that even America’s most ambitious company may have a mess around. In one, more details The company’s chain of supermarkets emerged about – Not Whole Foods one more One – which shows Amazon still hasn’t found out how to sell milk and chips to us. The company also employs a team of 800 people What do you think so far To be something like an echo speaker on wheels.

Never underestimate Amazon. But we should also not assume that wildly successful tech giants have come to know all this. Sometimes, these companies may just throw spaghetti on the wall.

Facebook attempts to turn on WhatsApp Default mode of customer interaction with businesses The company may have a less lavish design than the only good option. When amazon Made a big splash With the promise of resuming American health care a few years ago, perhaps it Don’t really have a clue. When Google, Facebook And SpaceX They will bring Internet access to more people using balloons, drones or satellites, they have not necessarily posed a complex challenge.

Many of these are worthwhile efforts. We all must believe in the power of innovation to solve problems. But even the public and policy-makers should not rely too much on what is sometimes expensive, actual market research by big companies.

Let me return to one of Amazon’s high-profile projects in groceries. To sum up the company’s last 15 years: Amazon operated the grocery-delivery service for a decade with no success. Then about four years ago it bought the Whole Foods chain of 500 grocery stores worth more than $ 13 billion. That Not robbed. Now amazon is building a Different The chain from scratch with stores that Bloomberg News described as being somewhere between Trader Joe’s and large supermarkets.

Amazon’s optimistic view of grocery milling This is the first phase of the company’s master plan. It is possible!

There have been reports that Amazon has dreams Heavy Automatic Store Plan to do more Eliminate cash register In many places. May be Amazon wants to use its grocery outpost Prep Center For delivery of fresh fish and dish soap.

I look forward to seeing Amazon’s big ideas. But for 15 years there is not yet evidence of Amazon’s grand theory of groceries or the ability to translate imagination into reality. During this, Some companies in china Make the best mix of in-store shopping with clever delivery. Ukado ocado And Kurdish market in South Korea People are struggling with inefficiencies in delivering groceries to their doorsteps. The best ideas in groceries are not coming from Amazon.

This is where I add that it is possible that I look like an idiot for writing this. Groceries, robots for home, Pharmaceutical drugs And all sectors of health insurance are eligible for innovation. It is helpful to think of Amazon’s efforts as experiments – sometimes bad ones – rather than fully ripened wonders of creation.

Mostly, I worry that we may believe too much in low-stakes tinkering for Tech Giants, but high-stakes problems for the rest. It is not useful if Some policy makers are prohibiting transit projects To see if driverless cars can be the answer to nightmare transportation. (They)

I can write a lot about the power and disadvantages of large technology companies. But if you believe in technical superpower, then all of this can be harmful.


You know what’s not amazing? Australians trapped in trade negotiations between Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.

Do you remember a month ago – I know, these days it feels like time doesn’t matter – when Facebook blocked all news from the app in AustraliaThe A new law in the country required Google and Facebook to pay news organizations for links to their articles.

May law Misguided Or it can be clever. I do not know. Certainly, Google and Facebook didn’t like it – but they took the opposite approach, at least at first.

Google opted to sign its teeth and contract to pay several news organizations, including Murdoch-owned News Corp. Facebook responds to a ruckus, Criticize the law, And prevent people and news organizations in Australia from sharing or viewing news links on their app. (Facebook later temporarily blackouted the news.)

Then on Monday, Facebook did a lot of what Google had done a month earlier: it Signed an agreement for payment of materials from Murdoch’s company. Maybe this fight which was for the good of the people, was it really a fight between the billionaires?

I would rather not draw ambiguous conclusions to important underlying issues. Google and Facebook have protected a significant portion of the advertising sold in the world. This makes life difficult for news organizations and other companies that support themselves with advertising.

Many people and government officials are trying to find out What, if anything, should be done about it. US lawmakers are debating a bill Provide collective bargaining power to small news organizations To cut deals with Facebook and Google – not a disagreement with what happened in Australia. (It’s not even the opposite A proposal I wrote in 2009. )

Whether these are sensible steps or news organizations deserve special help from all, is a worthy debate. Unfortunately, the important questions in Australia were prickles of power and wealth by wealthy companies.


  • A secret labor agreement, again relevant: Following a controversial attempt to unionize Amazon warehouse workers in east-central Virginia, the company issued a 22-point promise that it would not retaliate against people to support the union in the future. My coworker david streetfeld counts Formerly secret agreement with federal regulators And how it is relevant to the company’s current labor unrest.

  • Hacking all your text messages for $ 16: A Vice News reporter found several hackers-for-hire who were capable Redistribute all your text messages And use access to enter its online accounts. It is a horror story that shows a lack of accountability in the pervasive mess of our text messaging system.

  • Streaming has helped change the sound of music: For the Times Opinion section, Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding explain How did the pop music structure of poetry and chorus change? Due to many factors, including the desire to create songs that pull people to Spotify or TikTok.

Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish found that she won a Grammy Award while recording a children’s TV show. View as He and the kids are happy From this news.


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