Maybe Amazon doesn’t have a master plan

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

Recent articles about Amazon’s projects in the groceries and robots at home suggest that even America’s most ambitious company may have a mess around it. In one, more details The company’s chain of supermarkets emerged about – Not Whole Foods one more One – which shows Amazon still has not 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 grand design than the only good option. When amazon Made a big splash With a promise to reintroduce 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 large 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 a grocery-delivery service for a decade, with not much success. Then about four years ago it bought the Whole Foods chain of 500 grocery stores worth more than $ 13 billion. That A break has not been made. 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. UK Ocado And Kurdish market in South Korea Dealing with inefficiencies in delivering groceries to people’s 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 have too much confidence 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 could be the answer to nightmare transportation. (They)

I can write a lot about the power and disadvantages of large technology companies. But technical superpowers believe that all this can also be harmful.


You know what’s not amazing? Australian stuck between trade talks between Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.

Do you remember a month ago – I know, these days it seems like time has no meaning – when Facebook blocked all news from the app in AustraliaThe This came after a new law in the country required Google and Facebook to pay news organizations 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 grind its teeth and sign contracts to pay several news organizations, including Murdoch-owned News Corp. Facebook responds to a ruckus, Criticize the lawPrevent people and news organizations in Australia from sharing or viewing news links on your 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 to pay material from Murdoch’s company. Maybe this fight for the betterment of the public was actually a quarrel between the billionaires?

I do not want to allow conclusions to be drawn rather than obscure 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 Give 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, there is a worthy debate. Unfortunately, the important questions in Australia were prickles of power and wealth by wealthy companies.


  • A secret labor agreement, relevant again: After 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 for supporting a union in the future. My colleague 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 break into 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 came to know that she won a Grammy Award during the recording of a children’s TV show. View as He and the kids are so happy From this news.


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