Throw the Book at ‘Em


Books, Audible/Podcasts (used to be called Books on Tapes) and music.  Cue up the Christmas music to the tune of These are a few of my favorite Things.  If we play a little word association you probably would all guess the common theme is Amazon.

Now, lets go back to 1999.  I remember hearing a radio ad about this giant new book store.  In the ad they would call giant sports stadiums asking if they could hold all of Amazon’s books.  I would think, wow, that’s a lot of books…….. And I love books, I should research further.  The more I looked into Amazon, the more I fell in love.  Books, books, and more books.  This was heaven.  It really couldn’t get any better for me, but wait, there’s more!

As Amazon took each new step, they captured something else I loved.  They hit my hot buttons so often that as time went on, I trusted them more and more.   I trusted them so much that I bought their stock during the great 1999 dot com reckoning for a little under $5.  Yea, you read that right, $5.  When I sold for $15, tripling my money, I thought I was the smartest investor who ever lived.  I wasn’t.

Over the next few years Amazon kept investing, inventing, and advancing. The Kindle, Audible, Podcasting,  the cloud, Fire Stick, Whole Foods, Fire TV, free delivery, free music, free movies, Alexa, and becoming the Google of online retail.  The ability to buy anything and everything and get it delivered in 2 days or less for free!  Wow, they had me every step of the way.

I preached the good word of Amazon near and far.  Arguing about who was better, Apple, Google or Amazon…..Would e-books kill real books (They haven’t), and how can they ship the exact thing I need in 24 hours?  The one thing I didn’t do was buy back into Amazon stock.

In my mind, with each passing advancement Amazon made, I thought I missed the wave……….Wave, after wave, after wave. With each new product they unveiled I should have invested back in the stock. I could have jumped back in hundreds of other times…… I didn’t.

Many will argue that Amazon help  kill retail, not advance it.  That may be true on a lot of  local levels,  but, every retailer saw exactly what I saw as Amazon grew.  Research, development, advancement, more options, more value, more service, more of everything…….And, made many of those same local retailers rich along the way.  Covid just enhanced the whole Amazon process. One or two day delivery on just about everything.

The biggest mistake everyone made was to underestimate how big Amazon would become……And to think, Jeff Bezo’s put it right there in the name. Amazing.



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