I recently read a book by James Patterson called “The Store,” which was loosely based on Amazon. The story was about how a company like Amazon can completely take over your personal life. You might as well be a robot.
Amazon will know when your groceries have to be replaced, what you like to eat, what movies you like to watch, what books you need to read, what clothes you want to wear, on and on. Bottom line, you won’t be able to live without them. They will dictate how you live, and who they want you to be.
It’s not going to happen soon, but it could within a few years. A case in point is the fact that Amazon is now reportedly planning to open dozens of grocery stores in major cities around the country. They could force your neighborhood convenience store right out-of-business.
The new Amazon food store will carry a wider selection of non-organic products than Whole Foods. The store will be smaller than most traditional supermarkets, but somehow Amazon will know just the right products to stock for you.
One would think that a guy as smart as Jeff Bezos would know never to text a photo of his private parts over the Internet. You would hope that the world’s richest guy would have some common sense. He knows exactly how the Internet works. He probably would have been the first to tell you that the chances of someone getting their hands on your provocative photos on the Internet is pretty much a guarantee.
So why didn’t that stop Romeo? Like a lot of very successful men and women, he thought he could get away with it. He let himself believe that Lauren Sanchez was really interested in what he had between his legs. As Bill Maher pointed out last Friday night, “the only thing between Bezos’ legs that Sanchez was interested in was his wallet.” Hahaha.
Bezos thinks he is once again the powerful one because he is going after David Pecker of American Media, for extortion and blackmail. He said that “Pecker’s organization threatened to publish intimate photos of him and Lauren Sánchez if he did not stop his investigation into how his text messages and other photos had been leaked to the National Enquirer.”
Is Bezos that naïve that it never occurred to him that his girlfriend could share those photos with others? Again, this is a self-made man, the richest person in the world. One would think he would make better choices. I really don’t care what Bezos does in his private life, but I am offended that he would take such a public risk.
He is married for 25 years to the woman who helped him build his empire. He is the father of four. I just can’t respect him the way I did. I wanted him to be the ultimate entrepreneurial idol. Now he is just a reminder of the lower standards Americans have become accustomed to.
Bill Maher explains why the photos of Bezos below the belt are real.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, may have just found out, that he too, can’t make retail all better. A business friend of mine, Rob Stott, an editor at Dealerscope, a tech trade publication, just discovered in a recent Amazon sales report, that “its physical stores reached $4.4 billion during the fourth quarter, a 3 percent sales decline from the $4.52 billion they did last year during the same period.”
According to Stott, that 3 per cent figure includes sales at the company’s Whole Foods locations as well as its other physical stores like Amazon Go and the Amazon Bookstore locations that have been popping up around the country.
Amazon’s overall quarterly earnings report did have a lot of positive news. Sales are up 20 percent year-over-year, ending at $72.4 billion for the quarter.
Stott read the entire report and found the one little item that gave him a chuckle. “For what it’s worth, physical stores represent a tiny segment of the business that Amazon does as a whole. But the blemish they left on what was otherwise a pretty solid quarterly earnings report shows that even big, bad Amazon is at least somewhat struggling to find a way to make brick-and-mortar work for them. And while they’ve been busy expanding their physical retail presence, competitors are quickly catching up on the ecommerce side of the business.”
Thanks Rob for clueing us in. It’s nice to know that Amazon may be forced to figure out how to make traditional retail stores popular again.
If your adult child asks you to invest in his or her startup, what would you say? If the answer is “yes,” you better be prepared to lose every cent. That was how Jackie and Mike Bezos felt when they invested $245,573 in their son’s new firm in 1995. I don’t know how they came up with that exact figure, but that’s the check they wrote.
The company they invested in was Amazon. The decision turned out to be a good one. The investment was one of the best ever. Financial folks estimate that Jeff Bezos’ parents are now worth around $30 billion, thanks to one IPO and three stock splits.
If the financial experts are correct, Jackie and Mike are richer than Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. I wonder what they were thinking when Jeff asked if they wanted to put money into his new business?
They have been quoted over the years saying that Jeff was more nervous than they were. He was worried they would be angry with him if they lost their money.
Maybe that’s the reason why Jeff worked so diligently to build one of the most successful companies ever. He wanted his parents to be proud.
Even though Jeff Bezos is now worth $151.4 billion, it doesn’t mean that he didn’t throw a hissy fit this past Monday when his company’s website went down minutes after Amazon Prime Day 2018 started. I heard he went crazy. This event was in the making for more than a year.
Why didn’t someone predict that such a disaster could happen? I would have easily been the one to question the capacity of the servers. What makes me so insightful? The answer is obvious. Experience.
We had a client who was introducing a free WiFi cell service on a technology called voice over Internet (VoIP). Our PR agency, HWH PR, convinced David Pogue, then a writer for the New York Times, to cover the introduction. Our client, Line2, opened for business the day David ran the story. Seventeen thousand folks read the piece and immediately went to the website to sign up for the service.
It didn’t take long for the entire system to go down. That was a decade ago, and it took over a week to get the website working again. All the orders were gone and we had to start all over. It was a nightmare, but I learned a great lesson. Find out if a server can handle thousands, or millions, of folks accessing a website at the same time. Probably not. Heavy duty backup systems need to be put into place.
I do feel bad for the richest man in the world. I feel worse for the people he blamed. I’m sure it was not a pretty scene. Bezos’ ego was being tested. It wasn’t that he was losing money. It was that his company was out-of-control. For a man who seeks complete perfection, this was a day he never wants to see again.
For the last several weeks, I have had to listen to many of my contemporaries talk about the dangers of Facebook. I find it very interesting that most of the comments came from friends who know very little about Facebook, and why it became so important to so many.
While everyone is focused on Facebook, they seem to be ignoring the fact that they too are vulnerable because of their participation on digital media with giants such as Amazon and Google. Both companies are collecting far more information on all of us than Facebook has ever been capable of obtaining.
Think about it.
Amazon and Google know your personal email, home address, credit card information, purchases, websites you have visited, trips you have made, local tracking information, addresses of your friends, your reviews, on and on.
The so-called Facebook backlash is just the beginning of more truths about the digital world. Get ready for it. You are very involved and you better be prepared for all kinds of exposure.
Read about the realities of the digital world in Mashable.
The thought that someone other than myself has an outline of my body parts is just the incentive I need to go on a drastic diet. I am sure there are other people who feel the same way. We all have to get use to having merchants who know us up-close and personal. That is the digital future.
Amazon just bought Body Labs. It’s a 3D scanning platform that will measure your size and then create an avatar-like image of your dimensions. This all fits beautifully with Amazon’s “try before you buy” Prime Wardrobe service. This subscription based program will allow Prime members to order (and try on) from three to 15 items of clothing before they actually buy any of them.
The whole idea is to cut back on returns. Get the size right that first time. Let me know your thoughts on this.
I did something today I thought I would never do. I listened to an Audible book on our Amazon Echo.
I have been listening to books on audio contraptions since they were invented. I was an early user of Audible books long before Amazon bought the company.
I listen to a book a month, sometimes more. If I went out walking everyday like I should, I could knock off an audio book or two a week. I would love that. One day I will get my act together.
Here is a little background for those who never listened to a book on Audible. In today’s world, most books published are available on Audible. Either the audio version is available immediately, along with the print edition, or a few weeks later. The books are read by the author, an actor, or a professional reader. I spend $15.00 a month on Audible which usually gives me one free book, plus bonus credits for future purchases.
I listen to books on my iPhone or iPad. It doesn’t matter what device I use, the book picks up where I left off. It seems like magic. It’s not like the books you used to listen to on audio cassettes. There is very little chance to lose your place. The chapters are marked and you can set the voice speed. If you need to review the story because you didn’t understand something, you can click a 30-second button to go “back” or “forward.”
Today, I decided I wanted to listen to “The Store” by James Patterson on my Echo. I thought I could just give the command to Alexa and the book would be read. No go. After 45 minutes on the phone with Audible support, I found out I had to download the Alexa app, and click on a few settings to make it work,
I listened to “The Store” on the Amazon Echo for a few hours today, while I worked on eliminating my emails. It was a great way to work and be entertained at the same time. The commands for The Echo are posted above.. See how sophisticated and easy it is. Let me know if you need my help.
Boy, that Alexa’s gets around. Wynn Las Vegas just announced they are the first hotel in the world to feature Amazon’s Echo, better known as Alexa, in all of their 4,748 hotel rooms. Echo is Amazon’s hands-free voice-controlled speaker. Guests will be able to control various hotel room features with a series of voice commands. They include lights, temperature, and audio/video components.
What a PR move. Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, couldn’t have timed it better. Some of the first guests to room with Alexa are CES showgoers. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I’m at the Venetian. I would love to hear guest reactions. Lucky for me, Eliot received an Amazon Echo for a birthday gift. We love it.
In a company press release, Wynn said, “Techology has always played an important part in our resorts. The thing that Amazon has done with Alexa is quite perfect. If I have ever seen anything in my 49 years of developing resorts that has made our job of delivering a perfect experience to our guests easier and help us get to another level, it is Alexa. The ability to talk to your room is effortlessly convenient. In partnership with Amazon, becoming the first resort in the world in which guests can verbally control every aspect of lighting, temperature and the audio-visual components of a hotel room is yet another example of our leadership in the world of technology for the benefit of all of our guests.”
Amazon claims “Alexa is capable of reading the news, set timers and alarms, recite calendars, check sports scores, control smart devices in-home, and more. Since Alexa runs in the cloud, she is always getting smarter – plus, it is simple and free for developers to build Alexa skills and integrate Alexa into their own products. In the U.S., there are already more than 6,000 skills available for Alexa.”
I’m starting to believe that Amazon is becoming a member of everyone’s family.