So just how big can Amazon get? That was the first question that popped into my head after reading the announcement today that they intend on building a second US headquarters and hiring an additional 50,000 people.
Hold on — 50,000 more people? Sounds to me like Bezos and company have intentions to double in size. What will that even look like?
Now I have to admit, I drank the free-shipping Kool-Aid a long time ago. It really took hold of me when I lived out in Maple Valley and the nearest store was a 15-minute drive. Unless it was a retail emergency, anything I needed was a few mouse clicks away. Ever since, I’ve been a regular user. My latest purchase was a mini shop vac. I like being able to look at all the different models and not having to drive up to the store.
But 50,000 more employees? Does that mean they just grow all the categories they’re already in or continue to expand? It really is mind boggling to have a front row seat to one of the most incredible business stories in history.
To me, the key to Amazon’s success is how they deal with failure. If ever there was a company that fails fast, it’s Amazon. Remember the Fire phone? Me neither. They will pump tens of millions of dollars into a project, then abandon it a month later.
I’m sure there are heated meetings and some raised voices over at the South Lake Union HQ, but from the outside, they weather failures better than any company I can think of.
There seems to be a lot of hand wringing about Amazon’s dominance in certain circles. People seem to think that they are single-handedly killing off everything from bookstores to groceries. I think there will be a need for brick and mortar stores for the foreseeable future, but Amazon has definitely made a dent in how people buy things. With this $5 billion dollar play, that dent will get bigger.
So sit back and grab a bowl of popcorn. It appears like the ambitions of Amazon know no bounds. Get ready for Whole Foods to deliver your organic quinoa to your door by drone in under an hour. Prepare to walk into a lunch shop when you’re in a hurry and never have to interact with a cashier. And anticipate Amazon launching some new endeavor that we haven’t even thought of yet.
Maybe they really are the “Everything Store.”