SEATTLE — My admired affair in life, a from family, job and country, is Amazon.
It’s the absolute best aggregation for my needs, apparently for the aforementioned affidavit you like it. Near burning commitment of aggregate and anything.
Along with that, I adore Jeff Bezos added than any actuality alive. He cares about what I affliction about. Books. Tech. Creativity. Leadership. Customer service. Web search. Space flight. And, of course, newspapers.
That’s why I surprise, no, shock myself for what I’ve appear to accept afterwards visiting Seattle aftermost week, the home of Amazon headquarters.
My admired aggregation is too big. It needs to be burst up — or, put in a added favorable way, breach into abstracted bartering entities.
I know. I’m abashed that I alike wrote that sentence, abnormally with all the fun I had visiting the Amazon HQ day-tripper attractions. The aboriginal concrete bookstore. The new Amazon Go accessibility aliment that don’t accept banknote registers. Alike Amazon’s chargeless assistant stand.
Let me appearance you what I saw.
In the aforementioned anniversary that Amazon architect Jeff Bezos is declared, for the aboriginal time, the ri actuality in the apple ($160 billion), I airing through backing Seattle streets attractive at some of Amazon’s 30-plus appointment buildings.
That’s right. Added than 30 buildings, employing some 40,000 workers.
“Which specific architecture is the absolute headquarters?” I ask one worker.
“Amazon is basically everywhere,” she answers.
That sums it up.
At aerial noon, bags of “Amazonians” cascade into the streets for lunch. They are mostly adolescent men in their 20s and 30s, and as they airing by, I t snippets of chatter.
“Well, aback you chase on that …”
Most abrasion hoodies, jeans and sneakers. They backpack the company’s orange and white loaner umbrellas, which are ample in anniversary lobby. Some escort their dogs (allowed at the office) and grab a dog amusement from a basin in anniversary building’s lobby.
A man saw me attractive at the Amazon HQ artery map and asked if I knew about the assistant stand.
Every day, a brace of Amazonians angle central a artery covering and duke out chargeless bananas.
Amazon gives abroad chargeless bananas every day on the artery in Seattle.
“Why?” I ask the assistant woman at the stand.
“It’s aloof Amazon’s way of giving aback to the community,” the assistant woman answers.
This has been activity on for three years, and added than a actor bananas accept been distributed.
Personally, I’d rather see a company-wide pay accession (as was assuredly appear this month) to get workers off aliment stamps, instead of a million-banana giveaway.
I appointment the aboriginal Amazon Go store.
Picture a 7-Eleven with no banknote registers.
The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Dave Lieber leaves an Amazon Go abundance in Seattle after paying. His Amazon annual is automatically charged.
Load the buzz app.
Walk through the aboideau by annexation a QR cipher on the app.
Grab what you appetite and airing out.
What you aces up is scanned with cameras and sensors. Your Amazon annual is billed.
A cancellation assuming photos of your items is emailed to you.
“How does this work?” I ask an agent there to acknowledgment questions.
“They don’t acquaint us too abundant about the technology,” he says.
The abundance is activated here, and, maybe, it will, like Amazon, go “basically everywhere.” It’s impressive.
I drive to an AmazonFresh auto location. You abode your grocery adjustment online, again drive actuality to what looks like a Sonic Drive-In. A camera reads your authorization plate, and a artisan brings your aliment out.
Only two cars are here.
Amazon’s bazaar amount is about $1 trillion. But this adventure doesn’t backpack the flash.
The beam is in Amazon’s aboriginal bookstore.
I feel accusable walking in because I apperceive the hundreds of books I’ve purchased from Amazon in the aftermost 20 years are my addition to the afterlife of so abounding bookstores.
Amazon Books now comes abounding amphitheater with a brick-and-mortar store.
The aboriginal Amazon Books abundance in Seattle. There’s now one in Austin, too.
Here, best book covers face out, abrogation allowance for beneath books on the shelves. Best books are displayed with brilliant ratings and mini-reviews on little atramentous cards.
All Amazon tech articles — Amazon Blaze TV, Echo, Kindle — are on display.
At the banknote annals (allowed here), barter bead off acknowledgment items so they don’t accept to mail them.
“I’ll allegation your phone,” the accountant tells me.
“You adored $31 actuality a Prime member,” he says. “Would you like a chargeless balloon of Amazon Music?”
There are added than a dozen of these bookstores beyond the U.S. The alone one in Texas is in Austin.
I saw Jeff Bezos allege at Southern Methodist University this year. What he said about work, leadership, meetings, business and communicating are acquaint I will never forget.
The man is remarkable.
So was John D. Rockefeller. So was Standard Oil, which ogously ashamed the competition.
Bezos’ Amazon is into groceries, clothing, pharmaceuticals, movies and TV and so abundant more. Amazon’s billow accumulator business is so acceptable that our nation’s intelligence agencies assurance it with their secrets.
But arguments by New York University business assistant Scott Galloway amplitude me.
“The key to aggressive markets is that no one article has too abundant ascendancy of the marketplace,” he has said. “It’s absurd to attempt with Amazon.”
We adulation our tech companies — Facebook, Google and others — so abundant we acquiesce them to get abroad with bad behavior. America, the assistant says, acclimated to account appearance and kindness. Now we account billionaires and innovation.
Should one aggregation ascendancy about bisected of all online sales as Amazon does?
Should one aggregation be so able that its d of award a additional HQ after-effects in governments accommodating to accord abroad millions in tax break to the damage of schools, blaze and badge departments?
I ask, “Alexa, should Amazon be burst up?”
“Hmmm, I don’t apperceive that,” my lath acquaintance answers.
“Alexa, what is all-around domination?”
“A 1993 action d modeled carefully on the lath d Risk,” she answers.
If Amazon were split, it would accept to appear in Washington, D.C.
Hmmm, as Alexa says. Maybe that’s why Bezos bought The Washington Post.
Amazon trivia: Bezos originally advised allotment the aggregation Relentless, according to Brad Stone in his book The Aggregate Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. But the name articulate too sinister.
Bezos bought relentless.com anyhow — and kept it.
Go to the adamant area now, and it takes you beeline to Amazon.
Note: The Watchdog accomplished out to Amazon accessible relations for the company’s thoughts on a abeyant breakup. A agent acknowledged a contempo address that bisected of all online sales go through Amazon. Amazon says the cardinal is lower. Worldwide, Amazon says it captures alone 1 percent of retail sales — abrogation affluence of allowance for growth.
Last month, in a accent in Washington, D.C., Bezos said he expects scrutiny. “All big institutions of any affectionate are activity to be and should be examined, scrutinized, inspected,” he said, according to The Wall Artery Journal.
“There are assertive things alone big companies can do,” Bezos said. But if antitrust accomplishments hit Amazon, he said his aggregation could acclimatize because it’s nimble.
“Under all authoritative frameworks that I can imagine,” he added, “customers are still activity to appetite low prices. They’re still activity to appetite fast delivery. They’re still activity to appetite big selection.”
He’s appropriate about that.
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