Jeff Bezos, the visionary founder of Amazon believes in leverage and scale. Purchasing the Washington Post, perplexed even the most ardent Bezos-ites. But, Bezos, always planning years ahead when most of us struggle to plan for tomorrow, sees it as, simply a piece of the puzzle. But, what piece? He claimed to know very little about the Newspaper Business. So why, what puzzle is he constructing? Perhaps he’s looking to boost Kindle sales by offering a free subscription to the Washington Post. Perhaps owning a century old institution with recognitions such as breaking the Watergate Scandal and the Pentagon Papers, is nostalgic. Perhaps it’s just another notch in his financial “bedpost”, or another ‘hobby farm’ meant to indulge a bored billionaire. One thing we can be sure of, this acquisition will be used to leverage something. A something yet to be determined.
Bezos’ use of leverage is monumental, Amazon strategically leverages fulfillment centers which are accessible to major highways and airports. Then there is the acquisition of Whole Foods, which is a case of leveraging distribution hubs — not just for delivering groceries, but also as pickup centers for online orders.
But Data is the Big Kahuna
From the naïve consumer’s perspective, it appears Amazon is selling and shipping everything to us. But, Amazon is simply leveraging products and services meant to satisfy your desires. Sure, they’re glad to sell you everything from Live Lady Bugs to Shipping containers, but knowing that you buy this stuff, is as important as selling it to you. It’s the leverage of future sales, of other products and services. It’s about harvesting your Data for future transactions.
The customer who buys fresh fruit regularly at Whole Foods might be offered a deal on blenders or serving bowls next time they log into Facebook. Having a clear understanding of what peoples buying habits are, gives Amazon a strategic edge over its competitors. This competitive advantage allows them to market products and services, you’ve had a history of buying, directly to you. This is a competitive edge over Google and Facebook, due to them lacking any sort of ‘point of sale’ history.
How will they use leverage with Drones?
The drones Amazon would use are not your cookie cutter, out of the box Mavic Air. No way! These drones have serious range, incredible cameras, and unsurpassed battery life. Amazon will need these features in a drone in order to accomplish their goals related to the Drone Delivery Business and leveraging your data.
You see, according to Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of project44. “Amazon can leverage information about your vehicles, the exterior of your home and any property visible from the outside, and use that to market related products to people. They can even obtain information about when people are home, when they are outside, etc. There’s no telling what other ideas they’ll come up with as they bring in rounds of data and begin analyzing it. That said, one has to wonder where it ends.”
In typical Bezo’s-ech style, the drone delivery business will be much more than un-maned aircraft dropping off the latest Harry Potter novel, it’s really about leveraging the world with the omnipotent and the ever-precious; Data.