Don't Forget to Turn Out the Lights, Tony

Don't Forget to Turn Out the Lights, Tony

Summary: The announcement that Amazon is buying Zappos is so sad.What online retailing needs is more innovators, not fewer.

TOPICS: Mobility, Amazon

The announcement that Amazon is buying Zappos is so sad.

What online retailing needs is more innovators, not fewer.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon (recommendation engine and free delivery over $25) and Tony Hsieh of Zappos (free delivery both ways, 365-day guarantee and social shopping) are at the top of their game. And the game.

Says here that Hsieh will move on within 18 months, after joining Amazon. He's a two-time winner, having sold LinkExchange, an advertising network he co-founded to Microsoft for $265M in 1998. And a guy clearly confident in his ability to find new veins of gold to tap in digital commerce.

But wouldn't it have been a lot better for etailing in general if we customers had witnessed and benefitted from a head-to-head competition across multiple categories of these two outfits?

This would have been Yankees versus Red Sox, Coke versus Pepsi, Microsoft versus Google every step of the way. Zappos would figure out a way to make shopping fun and interactive, make you want to work for them. Amazon would just make it as efficient as possible.

Now, if they do manage to marry the two, effectively, and keep it up -- for the long term -- then online shoppers everywhere will win.

But the absorbed culture (in this case, Zappos) usually is the one that disappears.

Tell us when you get ready to turn out the lights, Tony.

Topics: Mobility, Amazon

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Tony Got His Share

    And a pretty big one at that. Seems like he might be more interested in creating/building a business so he can eventually sell it for a tidy sum to pocket. But that is the way of the business world, so don't cry too much over it.
  • RE: Don't Forget to Turn Out the Lights, Tony

    HA! I've been personally through several corporate mergers, take-overs, acquisitions, even corporate chapter 11's with buyouts - they are ALL the same. You hear the same old "blah-blah": we love you, we cherish you, we won't change a thing, you're the reason we are here...blah blah blah.

    Start packing. You're done. Here's how you will know: something called "new assignments". That manager that you have who just LOVES you, even though you always come in late, and who let's you goof off, and who gives you "cherry-picking" work, will be "promoted" and a new one will be put in their place - and they in turn will ALWAYS bring in their own people, ALWAYS. You will see people brought in who don't know you, who don't know if you can work properly to their standards, and most importantly - don't know if they can trust you with THEIR jobs to show a profit in your new publicly traded and quarterly-report-oriented conglomerate.

    Kiss your silly "I love my job" butt good-bye. Even if your new boss likes you, it won't matter. You are now "redundant-ized". Somewhere, on some report, in some office, written by some guru, is YOUR job listed right next to SOMEONE ELSE'S job. Listed on the same line. Uh-oh. Here comes the red pencil. They see "overlap", or "non-fit", or "difficulty", or "whatever".

    It IS possible they may offer you a job for half as much, doing next to menial tasks, in a department that you have absolutely no experience in, b e c a u s e there are legal structures regarding the reporting and handling of mass layoffs a n d you might be the cousin of some elected somebody who they don't want to make mad - for now.

    But you're still done.

    It's happened to me. More than once. That's how I know. And I was efficient and effective. No matter. I hope this helps.

    I think "don't let the screendoor..." would be more appropriate.