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January 30, 2013

"Amazon, as best I can tell, is a charitable organization"


The company’s shares are down a bit today, but the company’s stock is taking a much less catastrophic plunge in already-meager profits than Apple, whose stock plunged simply because its Q4 profits increased at an unexpectedly slow rate. That’s because Amazon, as best I can tell, is a charitable organization being run by elements of the investment community for the benefit of consumers. The shareholders put up the equity, and instead of owning a claim on a steady stream of fat profits, they get a claim on a mighty engine of consumer surplus. Amazon sells things to people at prices that seem impossible because it actually is impossible to make money that way. And the competitive pressure of needing to square off against Amazon cuts profit margins at other companies, thus benefiting people who don’t even buy anything from Amazon.

They have really thin margins. Extremely thin.

13:30 // 1 year ago
July 27, 2012

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos funds same-sex marriage efforts in Washington

  • $2.5 million to pass a same-sex marriage referendum source

» A grand gesture by Amazon’s founder: With Bezos’ donation, the man who created Amazon from nothing will now be one of the largest donors to same-sex marriage efforts in the country. So what got him to support the effort? An e-mail from a very early employee who is now a lesbian mother of four. “I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family,” wrote Jennifer Cast, who left the company in 2001. “We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.” Cast’s e-mail helped make Bezos the largest individual donor in the effort to pass Referendum 74.

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7:10 // 2 years ago
December 27, 2010

Amazon has record-setting holiday season, led by the Kindle

  • 158 units sold each second, and 13.7 million overall source

» And the key factoid? Amazon’s best-selling item of all-time is the third-generation Kindle, which only came out a few months ago. That’s not the best-selling technology item. No. It managed to top the final book in the “Harry Potter” series for the mantle of Amazon’s biggest seller of all-time. At $139, guess they found their price point. And guess we have egg on our face.

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13:54 // 3 years ago
November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday set for traffic increase similar to Black Friday’s

  • 107
    number of people expected to shop online today, Cyber Monday
  • 96.5
    number of people that shopped online last Cyber Monday source
0:47 // 3 years ago
November 17, 2010

Amazon’s next scheme: It’s opening up its own movie studio (!)

  • $2.7 million Amazon plans to offer to budding directors source
10:34 // 3 years ago
November 11, 2010

Amazon’s “pedophile” crisis: “Free speech” loses out to angry mob

  • bad Some guy decides publishing an e-book called “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” is a good idea. (It wasn’t, guys.)
  • worse TechCrunch notices the instant classic, creating a huge firestorm and leading to thousands of one-star “reviews” on the book’s Amazon page.
  • worser Amazon initially keeps the book online for “free speech” reasons, before finally taking it down after it reached the Top 100 in book sales. source
10:10 // 3 years ago
November 6, 2010

Baby bundle: Amazon sees lots of opportunity with

19:38 // 3 years ago