amazon-cardboardbox-to-kindle-to-cloud.pdf - Amazon.com An Empire Stretching from Cardboard Box to Kindle to Cloud1 a draft chapter provided for comment

amazon-cardboardbox-to-kindle-to-cloud.pdf - Amazon.com An...

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Gallaugher – Information Security – p. 1 Amazon.com: An Empire Stretching from Cardboard Box to Kindle to Cloud 1 a draft chapter provided for comment. Will eventually be included in the Summer 2013 version of the award-winning & low-cost textbook “Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology”. © Copyright 2013, John M. Gallaugher, Ph.D. – for more info see: Draft version last modified: May 3, 2013 – comments welcome [email protected] INTRODUCTION: LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After studying this section you should be able to: 1. Appreciate the breadth of businesses that Amazon competes in. 2. Understand that Amazon’s financial performance has not been consistent. 3. Begin to recognize the reasons for this performance inconsistency and set the stage for the examination unfolding in subsequent sections. As CEO of tech industry research firm Forrester Research, George Colony is paid to predict the future. Firms spend big bucks for Forrester reports that cover trends and insight across the world of computing. So when Colony turned his attention to Amazon.com, the Internet retailer founded by Jeff Bezos, there were a lot of people paying attention. Colony proclaimed that the recently public firm would soon be “Amazon.toast” as larger traditional retailers arrived to compete online. 1 Colony wasn’t the only Bezos-­‐basher. Fortune , The Guardian , and Barron’s were among the publications to have labeled the firm “Amazon.bomb”. Bezos’ personal favorite came from a pundit who suggested the firm should be renamed “Amazon.org” adopting the domain of a non-­‐profit since it’ll never make any money 2 . Amazon went seven whole years without turning a profit, losing over $3 billion during that time. The firm’s stock price had fallen from a high of $100 a share to below $6. Conventional wisdom suggested that struggling dot-­‐coms were doomed as retail giants were poised to bring their strong off-­‐line brands and logistics prowess to the Internet, establishing themselves as multi-­‐channel dominators standing athwart the bloodied remains of the foolish early-­‐movers. But during those seven years and through to this day, Bezos (pronounced BAY-­‐zose) steadfastly refused to concentrate on the quarterly results Wall Street frets over. Instead, the Amazon founder has followed his best reckoning on where markets and technology were headed, postponing profit harvesting while expanding warehousing capacity, building e-­‐commerce operations worldwide, growing one of the net’s most widely-­‐used cloud computing platforms, leading the pack in eBook readers, and developing the first credible threat to Apple’s dominant iPad in tablets. 1 Faculty: I’ll post my personal slides online at gallaugher.com, but there is also a wonderful deck by FaberNovel that covers much of the content in this case. You can find it at:
Gallaugher – Information Security – p. 2

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