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Playing Against Amazon At Your Own “Risk”

I have written a lot about Amazon in my previous posts.  Admittedly, I have been busy with my new job as CEO of ClickBank.  Recent announcements from Amazon regarding “Login and Pay with Amazon” reminded me on why I have always been fascinated with Amazon's long-term vision and investment.  I have written a bit about Amazon in the past from posts around some potential acquisitions that they should make to their involvement in the online ad business.  But, it dawned on me that the treadmill of new innovations and announcements reminds me of an analogy of when you are being wittled down in
Riskthe game of Risk.  It is that awful feeling when you haven't played the game correctly and you are being attacked on all sides with only one continent left.  That is how it must feel to the variety of different companies that compete with Amazon.  At least in the e-commerce space, they are playing the game of Risk brilliantly.

Back to the most recent announcement.   It has been around for awhile as All Things D points out.  It is indicative to me how Amazon continually weaves a deep integration of the e-commerce stack across any device. The way in which Amazon thinks about investment is extremely long-term.  Their investment strategy is often berated by professional money manager types like this recent article in Barron's.  Sure, Amazon has a sky-high P/E with an extremely low profit margin.  But, look at the fact that Amazon has been laying down huge R&D investments to really vertically control the flow of all e-commerce transactions.  You can't legitimately look back at their investment in the Amazon Cloud infrastructure years ago and tell me that you could make a direct connection on how that investment would help Amazon leverage their services across any screen, screens that they own (Kindle), and the Web.  In fact, as my hometown tech blog GeekWire points out, Bezos and Amazon are often confused as being a Silicon Valley company versus a Seattle-based company because of how admired and successful the company is.  My old boss Rich Barton recently talked about how he admires Bezos at a recent Amazon panel, too.  Vanity Fair thinks so, too.

I am looking forward to reading the new Brad Stone book on Amazon (of course, a link here to the book on Amazon), "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon".  This excerpt about how Amazon forced a sale by driving margins down against brought back bad memories from childhood when I was playing Risk at was subjugated to one last continent with enemies all around me.


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