Recently Amazon paid $13.7 Billion to acquire grocery store chain Whole Foods. As Amazon reaches its capitalist nation now from the internet to the brick and mortar; people are starting to wonder when is big too big? Is Amazon a coming threat to the American way of life with it's near monopoly like state in the e-commerce industry. The core of this concern stems from worry, people are worried that Amazon will become too large that no company can compete. We should first study why and how Amazon reached it's state of business monstrosity. Amazon started as an online book company in the year of 1994 during the internet boom of the 90's. Jeff Bezos saw an opportunity to create a new online business that hadn't truly existed before that moment, this was a moment of luck, observation and determination. There are moments that happen like this at all times that make them the most opportune moment for a certain industry based on where technology or society is at that percise moment. The idea of online book sales made economically very easy to compete with big brick and mortar book stores such as Barnes and Nobles and the late Borders. Amazon did not need to open it's doors to customers every day to sell a book, it could sell a book at any time of the day 24/7 by being 100% accessible through a website at a time when internet business were starting to find their footing. Since, the start Amazon has made wise decisions and had great future outlook to create a business that continued to grow and grow to give customers a better buying experience and price to match it.
What happens when Amazon expands and dominates other industries as it did with books in the 90's and early 2000's, the answer is it already has. Amazon now offers groceries shipped to your door, subscription base free 2 day shipping. free music streaming, free move and TV streaming and hosts more internet websites that any other company in the world. Amazon is huge. Amazon's revenue is larger than almost half of the GDP of countries. You didn't misread that last sentence, just look at the figure below:
At a glance that may make one uneasy to consider that a corporation is larger than many countries. but let's think about what Amazon has done to your daily life, most savvy individuals will now check the price of any item in a store with Amazon to determine how good of a deal they are getting. Amazon now offers restaurant delivery, home services included assembly and install and groceries delivered fresh to your door. Amazon has consistently seen opportunity in which they can provide value to the lives of American's.
What about how Amazon treats people? Many have heard the rumors that working at Amazon is a very stressful job. with lower than average pay for a tech company, less vacation time and inadequate benefits. This may stem from some truth, historically Amazon has put a lot of pressure on it's employees in the way of metrics and competition. There is very little in the way of job safety and constant competition in the work environment, but, things are starting to change at Amazon. Amazon now offers paternity leave for father's and mother's and will even pay for your spouses paternity leave if their company does not offer it. To be even more humanitarian in the public eye, Amazon has committed to building a homeless shelter near it's office in Seattle to house 65 families full time for free.
Amazon has reached it's domination by being obsessive. Amazon is obsessed about it's customers, down to tiny details that you probably didn't even realize. For example, if you are returning an item, as soon you drop it off at the UPS store location you are issued a refund for the item. This is how Amazon continues to dominate many industries that it enters by giving more and more power to the consumer. It is even the first bullet of the Amazon Leadership Principles:
Amazon has achieved so much by the virtue of giving you, the consumer, so much power and flexibility when it comes to shopping. If the result of being obsessive about customer service is more services like those that Amazon currently offers, by all means please continue to expand and dominate industries. because as of now, Amazon is the best alternative to every other shopping experience.