Venkatesh Rao

To take the book industry as an example, Amazon took on every part of the supply chain, not just retail. The whole company began, not with an idea, but a data-driven decision. Let’s take inventory of its major moves over the last decade or so.

  1. One-click shopping
  2. Free shipping over $25
  3. Being first to market with a meaningful and usable, but predatory, offering for self-publishers
  4. Creating a used-book marketplace
  5. Fighting a supply-chain battle with on-demand printers
  6. Undercutting Lulu, the pioneering self-publishing operation catering to authors
  7. Booting up the Amazon Affiliate program
  8. Making it brain-dead simple to publish on the Kindle
  9. Creating a margin option structure fr Kindle publishers
  10. Once the traditional supply chain had been sufficiently weakened, ramping up direct relationships with authors
  11. Starting with an eBook experience
  12. Decisively promoting ebooks
  13. All the while, keeping the core shopping experience familiar

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