What Can The Tech World Learn From Amazon?


Yahoo fizzled out. Microsoft has lost its way. AOL is a shadow of its former self. Yes, the giants of Web 1.0 have not had a good time transitioning to this modern age of social networks and mobile computing and smart phones. Indeed, even Facebook itself, launched in 2004 and a solid member of the new generation of social media and network sites finds itself struggling in its efforts to turn its social network base into revenue.

Most importantly, it still groping in the dark for ways to turn its fast-growing mobile presence into cash. Zynga’s stock has crashed as the stock investing public quickly realized that the social gaming emperor has no clothes on. Social buying pioneer Groupon appears to be living on vapors.

Why did I raise these sad stories about old Dot Com 1.0 companies and Web 2.0 youngsters? To highlight the fact that amidst all the confusion and broken dreams that abound in the tech industry’s warp speed rate of change, one brand remains relevant, profitable, and poised to seize the future. I am, surprisingly, talking about Amazon.

Honestly, it’s quite surprising to see the house Jeff Bezos built doing well in the age of mobile and cloud computing. Amazon’s ecommerce section is making money and funding its very robust cloud service, the industry-leading Amazon Web Services. Moreover, Amazon is giving Apple a run for its money in the discount-priced tablet segment with the Kindle and its variations. So what accounts for its survival and how can the rest of the industry learn from Amazon.

Vision Matters

Even though the future is mired in mystery and uncertainty, Amazon has shown extraordinary vision because it made sure it mastered what it knows. Take the case of Amazon Web Services, its awesome cloud computing service. Amazon needed a huge computing network and content distribution capabilities. The problem was that it built a network that was too big for its ecommerce needs. Instead of letting this excess capacity ride on its balance sheet, Amazon leveraged it by renting it out to other enterprises. Its vision of nailing your competencies down cold paid off because these competencies can then be sold as separate services.

Slow but Steady

Amazon didn’t get to where it is now through brashness and bravado. In fact, when compared to Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech media darlings, Amazon is fairly low-key. It is more deliberate and its plans focus on the slow but steady approach. As can be seen in the success of the Kindle, this is a strategy many industry players should do well to copy.

Size Matters

Finally, you can’t discount Amazon’s size. Amazon is a market maker. It makes tastes and it can throw its weight around the market. This is a key factor in its success with the Kindle and AWS. Amazon is too big to ignore and, let’s face it, if you are buying content distribution services, the Amazon brand can go a long way in making you say ‘Yes’ to a deal.

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