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Jeff Bezos says Amazon will fail and go bankrupt one day

By midian182 · 18 replies
Nov 16, 2018
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  1. During an all-hands meeting last week in Seattle, an Amazon employee asked Bezos what he had learned from the recent bankruptcies of Sears and other large retailers.

    “Amazon is not too big to fail,” Bezos said, in a recording of the meeting acquired by CNBC . “In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.”

    Bezos added that Amazon needed to delay the beginning of the end by continuing to focus on its customers, not the business itself.

    The CEO’s words arrived just before Amazon announced the two locations—Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia—for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. The new offices will see around 50,000 new workers added to the firm’s staff.

    But some Amazon employees worry about the rate at which the business is growing. It now has over 600,000 employees and a stock price that’s quadrupled over the last five years. It also leads the way in the cloud industry with AWS. Such growth and influence have led to concerns over a future filled with government regulations and potential antitrust violations. But it doesn’t seem to have Bezos overly concerned.

    “It’s a fact that we’re a large company,” said the CEO. “It’s reasonable for large institutions of any kind, whether it be companies or governments, to be scrutinized.”

    There’s also President Trump’s dislike of Bezos to consider. Back in March, the company’s value dropped $53 billion following a report that Trump was “obsessed” with the retailer. His administration is said to be looking into antitrust violations by Amazon, while regulators in Japan and Europe are doing the same.

    It’s certainly interesting to hear Bezos’ thoughts, especially as Amazon, which is expected to be behind 48 percent of all online sales this year, looks like an unstoppable behemoth right now, even with the antitrust investigations. But few companies can go on for over a hundred years, though, as Bezos notes, the main exception to that rule are breweries.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,149   +3,573

    Well, you have to give him credit for speaking the truth. Amazon is no more than a giant JC Penny catalog outlet (or any of the others that have come and gone), and it will one day become obsolete. He's already taken the first step by over charging for a number of items on there and failing to live up to earlier promises so he's just another "take the money and run" guy, leaving all the rest of us suckers in the dust ......
    Theinsanegamer likes this.
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,446   +1,440

    It’s called entropy... nothing lasts forever... eventually everything fails..

    Kind of like me saying 100% of the people who read my post will die :)
  4. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +157

    I don't know - IBM has been around for some time and they have done some dumb things ... Like losing the PC business and still survived ... Can't see IBM going down, they are too big and too extended for that ... Same for Amazon
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,624   +2,362

    Amazon has a rapidly growing problem with seller credibility. Now that our worst fears about review skewing have been confirmed (and then some) we'll need to see what the company does to fix this. Product misinformation is almost as prevalent as review scamming. I personally have almost given up on Amazon due to the sheer number of product listings with incorrect or suspiciously absent details. Its not as bad as Ebay but its getting there.
  6. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    "Focus on its customers, not the business itself" is partly a euphemism for undercutting and putting everybody else out of business by foregoing profits and running on investment capital. In earlier times anti-trust would have long since sliced them into pieces vertically from top to bottom.

    Trump's "obsession" with Amazon is one of the few sensible attitudes that he's taken, but I suspect it stems more from personal animosity towards Bezos than anything else. Whatever.

    Yes, the mighty always fall. Sears actually lasted quite a long time, and I think it may be in no small part because they actually did focus on their customers while at the same time building a solid business base. Even then, times change.

    Look at Intel! They've started a slow decline. Who'd have thought it? And Microsoft.
  7. Versutus

    Versutus TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +28

    Challenge accepted!
  8. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,842   +1,351

    Eventually it will happen but it's not gonna be anytime soon. Whenever there's a market for a new thing they can expand to that area, prolonging the life.
    Woblee likes this.
  9. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,394   +296

    Do businesses and countries suffer the same fate?

    Old Rome is gone....France and Great Britain mellowed So why is the Capitalist Pig (USA) still in power (1872 - and counting) while the Greedy Bear (Old Communist Russia) is dead (1917 - 1990) ?
  10. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,724

    IBM exists much as AOl does, an empty husk of its former self. Old IBM would crush new IBM in about a minute.

    Much like how, one day, amazon will exist, but more as a backwater site that only old geezers use on occasion, and everybody wonders how they are till in business (likely AWS, the store itself will eventually die).

    Like someone else said, Amazon is nothing more then an oversized JCPenny or Sears. ironically, Sears was amazon before amazon (they shipped entire houses FFS). Amazon will fall eventually, as will facebook and google, entropy encompasses all. People used ot say sears was invincible, everybody used them, nobody could ever stand up to them, 30 years later they are bankrupt.
  11. Eugene200

    Eugene200 TS Rookie

    You have the working folk to save Amazon. They will be around for 1000 years or more.
  12. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 720   +342

  13. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 79   +41

    Very funny. Meanwhile K-Mart is still in business. If they can stick around decades after they should have closed shop then I don't think Amazon has anything to worry about.
  14. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,363   +608

    Drat! I knew I shouldn't have read your post.
    dms96960 and Squid Surprise like this.
  15. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    Stop thinking of Amazon as only an online retailer.
    Amazon Web Services is already the biggest and best. And there's a unique problem here because many businesses are scared of Amazon getting into their business. For example... if you're an auto insurance company, do you want to host your site on AWS knowing that Amazon might be moving into the insurance space. Or medical, or financial... who knows. Amazon is growing fast and expanding, just like Google.
    These companies know that you can't sit around and collect a check on your past success. They know our phones don't use processors made by Intel and run off Windows. Things change, and it looks like they'll be prepared.
    dms96960 likes this.
  16. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    As many have said nothing last forever.

    At least on the human scale and with our perception of time.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,752   +1,490

    Hmm; directed predictions like "will fail" concede the possibility that the organization can no longer morph itself as needed -- F=MA like momentum is too much to be overcome.

    As long as the organization continues to "solve the needs of the customer", then while change can be difficult, it will allow an evolutionary path to remain viable.

    It's all up to the flexibility of the management team.
  18. BobHome

    BobHome TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +20

  19. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 554   +453

    All empires fall in the end.

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