Amazon and Google In 10 Years
Yesterday, while at my grandfather's 90th birthday party, I was talking to my cousin once removed, who has been involved in the business world for the past 30 years. He's a smart guy and I respect him.
However, over the course of the night, he talked about a couple technology companies. For some reason, he enjoyed predicting their demise. He said that Google would only be a brand name of a larger company in 10 years. He also said that Amazon.com would not exist in 10 years. When trying to press him for reasons to this, I was unable to get much of any answer. I guess he assumed it would be too much for me to understand or something.
To be honest, I highly doubt these companies will be gone. Sure, Google has only been in existence for less than 10 years, but they are currently one of the biggest companies in the world and are nowhere close to being bankrupt. They're one of the few tech companies that are doing many intriguing things. Plus, they are synonymous with "search".
For me, Amazon.com is the same thing as "shopping". Sure, I price compare a bit, but often I end up at Amazon.com anyways. They may not have the lowest price, but they have a great, low price and don't charge me sales tax. Plus, for almost everything, if I order more than $25 they will ship it for free, and those factors usually make it the cheapest. Plus, they're reliable.
There's an interesting interview with Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos on BusinessWeek's site. The founder of the Internet's largest online store talks about the many things they're doing with their online presence, some of which are not that related to shopping. He explains that most of these are just opening up their internal systems for the benefit of others. Also, he talks about the benefit of their customers providing information that computers cannot compute. The biggest point about their process was that they spent the time to get the backend systems working great. That's important.
A couple years ago I ordered a CD from another large online retailer. After a couple months, the retailer sent me an e-mail saying that they could not get the product so they refunded me my order. With Amazon.com I'm sure they got their stuff together and that won't happen. A couple times it has taken them a while to find a product, but their automated systems kept me updated by e-mail on the status of the product ordered. With the other retailer, I was like, "How am I supposed to get the product now? You seriously let me down."