Category Archives: Amazon

5th horseman pick :: From the Prof.

Last year’s pick was Netflix. Makes sense – the operating system video.

Now he is picking Spotify – essentially the operating system for audio. Makes sense, and this is why they shouldn’t mess around with video at all.


How Amazon Plans To Use Whole Foods to Dominate the Retail Industry | Fortune

Awesome read. I hope Amazon takes Whole Foods global.

How Amazon Plans To Use Whole Foods to Dominate the Retail Industry | Fortune:

The very thing that makes grocery delivery hard—that food goes bad—is the reason it’s so desirable to a company like Amazon. Because cheese grows mold and meat goes rancid and milk sours, consumers can’t hoard it in their cupboards or refrigerators indefinitely as they might toilet paper or laundry detergent. As a result, the average family hits the supermarket at minimum once a week; there’s nothing else you purchase or consume so much or so often. For Amazon, getting in on that frequency is critical to further ingraining itself in our routines and behaviors. “Food is the platform for selling you everything else,” says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “It’s an everyday way into your life. There’s nothing else that happens quite that way.” Amazon’s quest is therefore about much more than just food.

How Lee Fixel, Flipkart’s godfather in New York, changed India’s start-up ecosystem – Livemint

Interesting read – don’t know much about Lee Fixel.

He made some coin on this though.

It seems to me if that if the founders were left alone on FlipKart – none of this would have ever happened.

Still remains to be seen what a post WalMart world will look like.

How Lee Fixel, Flipkart’s godfather in New York, changed India’s start-up ecosystem – Livemint

Depending on the final details, Fixel could make more than $3.5 billion on an investment of less than $1 billion, and still retain a 4-5% stake in Flipkart. That’s a stunning return by any measure. For the exit-starved Indian market, it’s almost beyond belief.

Jeff Bezos interview with Axel Springer CEO on Amazon, Trump, Blue Origin, family, regulation – Business Insider

This is so good. Every founder should stop and watch this.

The focus on the consumer above everything else is such a good lesson.

It is also just great listing to his view on criticism, making mistakes and long term planning.

And the slight work/life balance speech at the end is spot on.

Jeff is pretty amazing.

Jeff Bezos interview with Axel Springer CEO on Amazon, Trump, Blue Origin, family, regulation – Business Insider

Walmart Beats Amazon in the Battle to Buy India’s Flipkart | Fortune

I wil admit I thought Amazon would try harder to buy Flipkart but I guess they feel they don’t need to.

I am still thinking Amazon wins in the end – Walmart isn’t winning in the USA so not sure they are setup to win in India.

Will be interesting to see if Flipkart goes regional at all or just hunkers down in India.

All in all this is great news for India and puts the Asian start scene front snd center as this is the biggest ecommerce deal ever.

Also waiting to see how big this tax bill is and how that is all dealt with.

Walmart Beats Amazon in the Battle to Buy India’s Flipkart | Fortune

Add this from Axios:

Walmart made it official this morning, announcing that it will pay $16 billion for a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart. Or, put another way, Amazon just suffered the sort of defeat that is usually reserved for physical retailers.

  • Initial confirmation came via SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, during an earnings presentation. The official Walmart press release appeared hours later.
  • Word is that all Flipkart investors had the opportunity to sell their entire stake, which SoftBank took advantage of. Backers that are retaining at least some of their position include Accel, Microsoft, Tencent and Tiger Global.
  • Walmart’s early aggressiveness appears to have been key to its win, although Flipkart also had concerns that an Amazon tie-up could face antitrust scrutiny.
  • For Flipkart, this provides the company with a permanent capital structure without sacrificing managerial independence. It still expects to do an IPO — think Walmex 2.0 — but that runway has been significantly extended.
  • For India’s startup ecosystem, this could be a game changer. Not only in terms of inspiring other prospective entrepreneurs, but also in the sheer amount of cash that Flipkart employees will have to invest in their own startups or in someone else’s.

2017 Letter to Shareholders

This is so good and so much to glean from it.

I think I love this the most:

Six-Page Narratives

We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos. We silently read one at the beginning of each meeting in a kind of “study hall.” Not surprisingly, the quality of these memos varies widely. Some have the clarity of angels singing. They are brilliant and thoughtful and set up the meeting for high-quality discussion. Sometimes they come in at the other end of the spectrum.

In the handstand example, it’s pretty straightforward to recognize high standards. It wouldn’t be difficult to lay out in detail the requirements of a well-executed handstand, and then you’re either doing it or you’re not. The writing example is very different. The difference between a great memo and an average one is much squishier. It would be extremely hard to write down the detailed requirements that make up a great memo. Nevertheless, I find that much of the time, readers react to great memos very similarly. They know it when they see it. The standard is there, and it is real, even if it’s not easily describable.

Here’s what we’ve figured out. Often, when a memo isn’t great, it’s not the writer’s inability to recognize the high standard, but instead a wrong expectation on scope: they mistakenly believe a high-standards, six-page memo can be written in one or two days or even a few hours, when really it might take a week or more! They’re trying to perfect a handstand in just two weeks, and we’re not coaching them right. The great memos are written and re-written, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind. They simply can’t be done in a day or two. The key point here is that you can improve results through the simple act of teaching scope – that a great memo probably should take a week or more.

Best to read it all though…

2017 Letter to Shareholders