Amazoned: Is Any Industry Safe?

 
 
Like the Amazon River itself, Jeff Bezos's company cuts a powerful, meandering channel through the business landscape, changing every industry it touches.
 
 
by Sean Silverthorne
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Jeff Bezos, visiting a Harvard Business School classroom 21 years ago, told skeptical students his goal with Amazon.com was to "sell everything to everyone everywhere." Even dog food? students wondered, which would require expensive storage and transport costs. Yep, even dog food.

Today, Amazon participates in so many industries that it takes a small army of researchers at HBS to track them all: retailing, cloud computing, book stores, grocery stores, digital consumer products, commercial real estate, transportation, just to name a few. And if those were not enough, Bezos announced earlier this month intention to join megapartners Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase on some still mysterious project in the fastest-growing market of them all, health care.

These stories from our archive suggest the great impact Amazon has exerted on the world of business, stretching from the obvious—igniting a revolution in retail—to the more subtle—how Amazon's web development services resulted in more startups receiving VC funding. What will be the next shoe to fall?

Can Amazon Do What Walmart Couldn’t, Stop the 'Wheel of Retailing'?

Is Amazon's growing retail power capable of breaking the "wheel of retailing" theory? 

Amazon, Whole Foods Deal a Big Win for Consumers

What does Amazon's $13.4 billion deal for Whole Foods say about the future of retail? 

Amazon Web Services Changed the Way VCs Fund Startups

Amazon's popularization of cloud-based computing services made it  cheaper for startups to  stand up an enterprise. One result: VCs could suddenly fund more companies.

Apple and Amazon Are ’Frenemies’ When It Comes To eReaders

Why sometimes it's better for fierce competitors like Apple and Amazon to work together.

Amazon Prime Day: The Logic Behind a Retailer’s Made-up Holiday

The company is throwing itself a party where all its Prime customers get the gifts.

How Independent Bookstores Have Thrived in Spite of Amazon.com

Independent bookstores managed to survive and even thrive in spite of competition from Amazon and other online retailers.

What's Wrong With Amazon’s Low-Retention HR Strategy?

Does Amazon's "only the strongest survive" employee-retention policy make for a better company or improved customer relationships?

Attention Medical Shoppers: What Health Care Can Learn from Walmart and Amazon

At a Harvard Business School panel discussion on health care management, experts looked to the retail industry as a possible model for delivering medical services more effectively.

What's your take on Amazon?

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