Tag Archives: Amazon

How Today’s Leaders Set Examples for Tomorrow’s Future

New technology has posed new challenges for existing companies, and now digital transformation is happening all around us. When it comes to innovation, existing companies are being beaten to the punch by evolving platform companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple. I think there are some great reasons as to why existing companies are having such trouble with growth, and it is not necessarily because of these technology companies taking all the business. Humans, not companies, drive digital transformation. If companies wish to be successful, a lot of success will come from great leaders and thinkers.

There are great leaders motivated to bring change to the world, and other leaders that hold their positions for power and simply do not care when innovations come along (until it effects them). The difference between these two leaders is productivity, and the leaders for change typically give out more positive results. I believe there are many leaders uprising to bring change to the world, and this is noticeable in digital transformation.

First, lots of successful people are the ones that lead digital transformation. Digital transformation is making the world a more productive place, and the ones implementing change are the ones ahead of the curve. Even in small business settings, Tito’s Burritos allows you to place orders online, is it possible that option gives them an edge over the competition? Secondly, many, if not all of these people leading digital transformation, are also “self-made“, meaning their wealth is not inherited. They are self-made because of their brilliant accomplishments. Solely a genius will make his or her way to the top given motivation. Millions of inherited dollars does not make you a genius, it just puts you in a better position to succeed. Third, the leaders of digital transformation are determined to expand, their companies are notably the strongest growing in the world. Although these people have made it to the top on their own, they still persist for more, and continue getting smarter everyday. These are intelligent leaders, and they do not settle for anything less than more.

What does this all mean? It means people like you and I, people who came from normal middle class families, rose to the top. We are no different from the ones at the top but why are they in the position that they are in today and we are still down below? They hopped on trends and took them first. These leaders thought exponentially and came up with innovative ideas. As humans, we typically follow a trend of patterns and think in the same direction, but thinking outside the box helps when trying to be innovative. There are many humans with the potential of starting new trends, they just need to think differently in order to discover these trends. In the video below, Jeff Bezos explains what motivated him to startup Amazon.

Notably, Bezos mentions two key facts: the fact that books are widely popular and profitable, and web usage is expected to grow at a rate of over 2300%. Bezos took these two different facts and turned it into one brilliant idea, an online bookstore, bound to expand its services into what we know today as Amazon.

Like Bezos, us humans are capable of connecting the dots in order to come up with innovative ideas. In order to do so, it is important to keep track of trends and act accordingly. Ignoring the first wave of innovation will only make us unprepared for the second wave, and we must learn to adapt with changes in our society. Humans tend to go with the flow but this must end. If humans aspire to live in a world with digital transformation, they need to be five steps ahead of what is going on around them and expect the unexpected, plan for the inevitable.

Banks are no Longer ‘Unstoppable’

The innovation of online banking truly changed the way we handle money, but did the banks ever think this invention could fall out of their own hands? Everyday, I can check my bank account from the tips of my fingers, but things were not always like this. Fifty years ago, you would have to walk into a bank to do what you can now do simply on your phone. And this applies to a variety of services: you can deposit checks, make appointments, and even handle disputes over the phone.

Without a doubt, this technology has made the world much more efficient, but it has led to a few unintended consequences. The increase of banking technologies meant there was less need for in-person banking, and as result this hurt that aspect of their business. There is almost no communication between the depositor and the bank anymore since everything is done over the phone or at an ATM. For the average person, there is no need for a bank, just a lot of ATM’s and internet connection. Minus a regular checking account, the other services of a bank are becoming accessible elsewhere too. Not only do banks provide loans and compile information for companies, but Amazon is starting to do these things too. Who’s to say the frightful 5 cannot do what the banks are already doing now?

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The key difference between banks and a company like Amazon is customer satisfaction. They have both evolved to offer similar interactive experiences on the web (lots of AI), but companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook interact with their users much more, and offer a more pleasurable experience. As shown below, the disruptive improvements made by technology companies heavily influence the bank’s return on investments.

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(Note: If digital disruption stays on pace, it is likely we could experience another depression by 2025 because the banks would perform so poorly it would affect many other businesses and their finances ran through the bank).

This screams nightmare for the banks. The bank is becoming small competition to these technology companies, and already they offer many of the same services in their bank-like accounts. Even I am considering an Amazon Prime Visa Card, prime benefits could be more applicable to me than the typical benefits of a credit card.

Going into the future, banks need to develop better relationships with their customers in order to compete. Likewise, many other companies must adapt and form databases of their customers in order to develop long-lasting relationships. The more digitally ahead a company is, the more likely they are to survive in the future. Now is the time to transform with the customers awaiting change.

317 – Digital Transformation Update

A few months ago, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion, one of the largest amounts paid to acquire a company. This is all apart of Jeff Bezos’ strategy to bring cheaper products to the consumer market. This acquisition may be great for consumers, but Bezos’ purchase will force other companies to digitally transform.

Towards the end of August, Amazon began dropping the prices of Whole Foods products by significant amounts. This acquisition has clearly impacted grocery stocks, which have struggled since the merge. A main reason why Amazon is successful is because they minimize their profits as much as possible and reinvest capital back into the company. By doing this, Amazon will continue dropping prices so that customers will run into their inexpensive services.

At the moment, Amazon/Whole Foods is competing at the same level of competition as other grocery markets, but this is unlikely to last for long. Eventually, Amazon will implement their new Artificial Intelligence that will make shopping simpler and faster. However, there is a huge down side that will come with this new technology. Although this technology will eliminate store lines, and allow the option to pay for items later, the technology will displace millions of cashier jobs across America. Eventually, this AI will be found in every store, and the near future may include different variations of this technology for small businesses (unless you are paying in cash).

Many companies are struggling to compete with Amazon’s advanced technologies and strategic business decisions. Toys R Us, Sears, and Macy’s are just a few companies that are being affected by Amazon’s success, and they are running out of ideas to save themselves. The reason why these companies fail to compete with Amazon is because they do not offer the wide range of services that Amazon does. Amazon competes in almost every market, and none of these companies can make the expansion into multiple markets like Amazon already has.

Additionally, Amazon has outperformed these companies digitally. Amazon has disrupted many businesses through their innovative technologies and AI. There is a lot of good that has come out of Amazon (such as Amazon Go) which is why I believe the government has not stepped in on their monopoly yet, the government would not want to hinder their incredible progress. On the other hand, what Amazon is doing is arguably illegal. Although the technology Amazon has come up with is considerably brilliant, it cannot mask the fact that it will destroy millions of jobs and hundreds of multi-million dollar companies.

Given the Whole Foods deal has been approved, there are no signs of Amazon slowing down. Something needs to be done in order to prevent companies like Amazon from expanding too large. The outcomes will impact the economy more negatively than positively. In the near future, Amazon’s innovative ideas like Amazon Go will be embraced, but not unless it is shared among other businesses. If Amazon grows too large, there will be no room for other companies to grow, no competition, and fewer jobs. For now, companies need to focus on keeping up with Amazon so they do not fall behind. I believe Amazon will be stalled eventually, but until then, the market MUST adapt to technological advancements.

Amazon and Groceries: How Amazon can put the hurt to supermarkets.

Amazon is poised to take the super market industry by storm, when it revealed late last year that it was test running a grocery store. This grocery store utilizes technology called “Just Walk Out” technology, which is a combination of computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion. What this does it allow for the artificial intelligence do scan your phone when you enter the store, and keep up with the items you take and put back onto the shelves in real time. So even if you take an item and then put it back, you will not be charged. Then instead of waiting on line, you just have to walk out of the store and your amazon account will automatically be charged and a receipt sent to you phone. This is new type of store has the potential to utterly destroy not only super market chains, but almost every kind of brick and mortar store available. Companies like Amazon will only need a fraction of the employees to fully operate the store as the previous need for cashiers will be gone. The only people needed will be janitors, people to restock the groceries and an overall manager to address any issues. And as this spreads to other stores like game stop and other kinds of retail, people will begin to lose jobs at a very fast pace as more and more jobs are simply no longer needed because of technology simply being better.

So one question remains, how do new comers compete with giants like Amazon. Well the short answer is they have to have everything connected to the internet. To describe this best i suggest going to 5:30 in the video above. What Taylor does to solve the problem of having to turn away walk ins, is symbolic of what the age to come is going to bring, utilization of the internet and adapting it to your needs. Taylor describes how he has a button at his place of work that they press every time they have to turn away a walk in customer. This builds a map for them of when they need staff as opposed to when they don’t. This allows them to place they employees on the clock when they are needed most and have less people on when work is slow. Adaption and thinking like this will allow smaller stores to compete with larger companies like amazon. And both are going to be the future of retail around the world.