The History Book Club discussion

14 views
ENTREPRENEURS/LEADERS/COMPANIES > ELECTRONIC COMMERCE AND CLOUD COMPUTING COMPANIES AND FOUNDERS

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread to discuss Electronic Commerce and Cloud Computing Companies and their Founders.

Some examples that come to mind are Alibaba, Amazon.com, Apple, eBay, Google, PayPal, ASOS.com, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Costco, Gamestop, Groupon, Visa, Walmart.

Some examples of founders are Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs, Pierre Omidyar, Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery, Nick Robertson, William Barnes, G. Clifford Noble, Andrew Mason, Leonard Riggio, Richard M. Schultz, James Sinegal, Gary Kusin, Eric Lefkofsky, Brad Keywell, Dee Hock, Sam Walton.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon

One Click Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt by Richard L. Brandt Richard L. Brandt

Synopsis:

Amazon's business model is deceptively simple: Make online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won't think twice. It can almost be summed up by the button on every page: "Buy now with one click."Why has Amazon been so successful? Much of it has to do with Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder, whose unique combination of character traits and business strategy have driven Amazon to the top of the online retail world.

Richard Brandt charts Bezos's rise from computer nerd to world- changing entrepreneur. His success can be credited to his forward-looking insights and ruthless business sense. Brandt explains:

Why Bezos decided to allow negative product reviews, correctly guessing that the earned trust would outweigh possible lost sales.

Why Amazon zealously guards some patents yet freely shares others.

Why Bezos called becoming profitable the "dumbest" thing they could do in 1997.

How Amazon.com became one of the only dotcoms to survive the bust of the early 2000s.

Where the company is headed next.

Through interviews with Amazon employees, competitors, and observers, Brandt has deciphered how Bezos makes decisions. The story of Amazon's ongoing evolution is a case study in how to reinvent an entire industry, and one that anyone in business today ignores at their peril.


message 3: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Why Bezos called becoming profitable the "dumbest" thing they could do in 1997. "

He apparently still thinks so 20 years later. Within the last 10 years, Amazon's net profit margin has never exceeded 3.68%, ranking it lower than 56% of the 990 companies in its global industry (source).


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
His philosophy is amazing. And it has made him rich and he has turned retailing on its head.


message 5: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (last edited Mar 28, 2018 08:39PM) (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
He is the master of taking the long view. Quarterly profits mean nothing to him. It's all about where they will be in 10-20 years.

What amazes me is that he has convinced so many investors to buy into that, despite our culture of wanting everything right now. Amazon has a $685 billion market capitalization and a price-to-earnings ratio of 232. Those numbers are insane.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The problem is that our stores are going to disappear - I like them too. I am surprised that he has not run into any anti trust situations considering the ones that have been quashed. Love Amazon but love my stores too.


message 7: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
I do not think stores will disappear. There will be a lot of downsizing, and I am a little worried about department stores. However, people still like to shop and to get out of the house. I think there will always be some presence of brick and mortar retail. Amazon apparently thinks so too, since they have recently increased their own investments in physical retail stores.


message 8: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
The economist Joseph Schumpeter, in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (1942) called this creative disruption. The retailers that will disappear will be those that were less efficient and/or unwilling to change.

Most department stores have horrible efficiency problems. It will be interesting to see who survives in that space, if anyone.

Toys R Us, which recently declared bankruptcy, was designed for a market that only existed for a few decades. It was extremely successful during that time, but it never evolved.

Grocery store disruption predates the internet age. Superstores were introduced in the 1960s, then big box stores a few decades later, then internet commerce. This killed companies like A&P and Marsh that couldn't keep up with the changes. Kroger, on the other hand, replaced almost every single one of its stores with a superstore during the 1980s and has made other adaptations since then. Kroger has been around since 1883. It is older than GE and will probably outlive it.

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Alois Schumpeter by Joseph Alois Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Douglass wrote: "I do not think stores will disappear. There will be a lot of downsizing, and I am a little worried about department stores. However, people still like to shop and to get out of the house. I think t..."

I wonder. I am very worried about the department stores - many have been hit hard already and are going under.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 28, 2018 09:27PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Excellent post in message 8. The founder of Toys R Us died the same week it went under just recently. Sad really. I always liked A&P - now I am a Whole Foods enthusiast and look who bought that. I never knew that Kroger was older than GE. Interesting.


message 11: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "I wonder. I am very worried about the department stores - many have been hit hard already and are going under. "

It is tough for department stores. They are too big and trying to sell too wide a variety of products. Customers often get frustrated because they can't find their away around and don't feel like they are getting the best prices.

Kohl's and JCPenney have created a customer value identity. Nordstrom and Von Maur have stuck to the quality, high end market. Those were good choices that will protect their businesses for longer. I worry most about those in the middle: Macy's, Carson's, Dillards, etc.

I give it 5 years until we are watching the Verizon Wireless Thanksgiving Day Parade because Macy's can't afford it anymore.


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I really feel bad about Macys, and all of the venerable department stores - I always liked them. But honestly if you walk through any of them - there is nobody to help you and frequently you are by yourself.

Why not the Amazon Thanksgiving Day Parade? (smile)


message 13: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Why not the Amazon Thanksgiving Day Parade?"

That would be a better transition from Macy's, and that is the weekend to advertise retail. Wal-Mart might be more likely to feel like they need the marketing though. Notice that Amazon does very little TV marketing other than for Alexa. People don't need to be told to shop on Amazon.

It's the same way with other big internet companies. You don't see NASCAR running a Facebook 500 (despite the alliteration opportunity), and you don't see new stadiums being labeled Google Search Field (another missed opportunity). They just don't need the marketing. They already are the marketing.

Most marketing these days is dominated by price competitive industries like telecommunications and property and casualty insurance. If you need a title sponsor for a televised event, it's probably going to be Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, GEICO, All State, or Progressive.


message 14: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
Here is an interesting one:

Alibaba opens China’s first ‘car vending machine’
https://www.rt.com/business/422857-al...



So that's a thing now...


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
That is pretty interesting and I think that in China - that might take off.


back to top