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Jeff Bezos: “One day Amazon will fail.”

By Dan Wilson November 19, 2018 - 10:01 am

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and the founder and CEO of Amazon. Amazon is worth just shy of $1 trillion. But Bezos has warned staff at the ecommerce giant that one day it will go bankrupt and that it isn’t too big to fail.

The biggest risks are apparently government regulation (and that might not just be in the United States) and antitrust legislation.

The comments from Bezos came about, reportedly, during an all-hands meeting where he took a Q&A session and one question related to the once mighty retail giant Sears which has just recently collapsed. Bezos is reported by staff speaking to CNBC as saying:

Amazon is not too big to fail. In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years. If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end. We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.

It’s a fact that we’re a large company. It’s reasonable for large institutions of any kind, whether it be companies or governments, to be scrutinized.
– Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon

To some extent this is classic Bezos. He is not afraid to be provocative and controversial. He is also well-known for being an original thinker. But is it helpful to predict the demise of your company when so many tens of thousands of merchants and employees rely on that income and continued success? It likely won’t do any harm. And it is certainly refreshing that a growing and burgeoning business organisation recognises that bad times may be just around the corner.

Of course, Amazon continues to soar and succeed and report remarkable success just now. Indeed, only this week they announced a new split location headquarters establishment between Washington and NYC that will create 50,000 new jobs and at least $5 billion of inward investment in those areas. The decline of Amazon isn’t imminent.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It will be interesting to follow amazone battle with Mr. Trump and Vestager.

  • Stuart
    4 weeks ago

    He is also very good at PR! Every year without fail some story pops up just before Christmas about something at Amazon and is then splashed all over the news!

  • Vinnie
    4 weeks ago

    I think it was interesting that he said when they start looking inward that will be the start of their demise, there’s a great lesson there for eBay to learn if they want to keep going.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Amazon isn’t failing, but it’s definitely changing.

    A significant portion of their profit is derived from providing cloud services to other businesses.

    Marketplace is suffering from issues of catalogue corruption, misuse of the system by some Chinese sellers and dropshippers, and poor support for smaller sellers. This may well be deliberate; as far as Amazon is concerned, small marketplace sellers are lower down the ladder than zero-hour warehouse staff in terms of disposability.

    The time must be near when Amazon have gathered all the data they need in terms of what sells and where the stock is coming from. At that point, they can revert to a lower-hassle model of Marketplace being restricted to themselves and a few big brands, while making lots of money from sellers they’ve driven off the site from the monopolies they are rapidly developing in logistics and business services.

    • 4 weeks ago

      I don’t think that’s the plan…

      They should LOVE the marketplace and all the money PPC brings in. That’s the game they’re in for – to make billions in ad clicks, just like Google does it.

      Why would you (Amazon) want to sell an item on your own, say for £10 and make £2-£3 profit when you can let 10 other people do it, pay YOU for the privilege of doing it (FBA/seller fees) AND charge for every click on the platform while they fight against each other?

      I think Amazon has the greatest plan of making tons of money in our era, right after the Google. And they will make that money from PPC. Amazon is already THE GOOGLE for eCommerce!

  • Gary Scott
    4 weeks ago

    Amazon warning announcement just before Xmas! Does this mean us smaller sellers will have to wait 3 weeks for our funds again? Last year the excuse was change of banks, what will it be this year? I honestly don’t think Amazon care about us.

  • ant
    4 weeks ago

    Amazon are removing small sellers for minor issues and allowing Chinese sellers masquerading as UK and US sellers such as Riding Waves and JB World and turning a blind eye.Whilst this may seem minor they are letting theses sellers show up as 100% positive sellers to encourage buyers and these sellers are not sending the goods hence buyers are let down and any negative feedback they leave Amazon are allowing to be removed and yet these sellers are still allowed to sell.These same sellers manipulate the listings by removing the cheapest options and leaving only the most expensive Amazon love this as they get a bigger commission from the increased price!
    Despite Bezos claiming he is a buyer friendly person what is going on at Amazon is showing them as a corrupt company and this has been proved many times.