Jeff Bezos: “Amazon is Not Too Big to Fail”

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a rather bold acknowledgement this week, predicting the future demise of his 24-year old juggernaut valued at nearly $1 trillion.

“Amazon is not too big to fail…in fact I predict one day Amazon will fail,” Bezos said in an internal meeting when asked about the recent bankruptcy of Sears, according to Business Insider. “Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.”

Business Insider reported that while no empire lasts forever, it is unusual for CEOs, particularly one of the world’s most successful companies to talk down their own enterprise. It should be noted that Bezos invested $37 million in Business Insider in 2013. He still owned a 3% stake after the media company was acquired in 2015.

Bezos said in the meeting the goal is to delay the inevitable for as long as possible – and the way to do that is focusing on Amazon’s customers.

MCM Musings: It’s an astonishing statement from the man who is constantly one step ahead of the retail world in terms of innovation and bold moves. Just this week, Amazon announced it was building two new East Coast headquarters and an innovation center in Nashville, promising 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investments. It’s hard today to picture an Amazon-less world, but then again to Bezos’ point, who ever thought an iconic chain like Sears would go away? But what kind of uber behemoth could come along and eventually unseat Amazon as the undisputed king of all ecommerce, along with its disruptive ventures into logistics, healthcare, web services and others sectors? Will this new champion come from, retail, technology or somewhere else? We’ll check back in 5-10 years to see if Bezos’s crystal ball was on the money.

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