You’ve gotta give a hand to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for trying to make Amazon become something it’s not; a technology company. Amazon is an online retail aggregator, a store in a browser, a company that knows how to sell what other people make, but clearly remains unable to break free from the shackles of things like facts and numbers.
How Many Did You Sell?
The latest news on the street says Amazon is laying off dozens of engineers from Lab126, the technology group that brought the Kindle, Fire Phone, and Echo devices to the masses (minus the masses).
What happened? Slowly but surely math is catching up to Amazon, the technology giant wannabe disguised as a purveyor of plastic coated electronic gadgets, but whose mission statement must include something about hoodwinking Wall Street investors into believing that red is the new black.
Every quarter, quarter after quarter, year after year, Apple announces earnings; revenue, profits, and unit sales of the company’s most popular products; iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. Every quarter, quarter after quarter, year after year Amazon announces, uh, um; nothing much but revenue growth on quarterly losses, and no numbers on the high profile Kindle, Fire phone, et al.
How many Kindles has Amazon sold? Only Amazon knows for sure, and the answer remains the same for the ill-fated Amazon Fire phone, Fire tablets, Echo-whatever-it-is-box, and pretty much any electronic device encased in plastic and with the Amazon logo plastered on top. Amazon seems to write off more losses each quarter than the U.S. military industrial complex during periods when peace breaks out.
None of Amazon’s woes should surprise anyone, but surprisingly few have been paying attention. Just as Google is not really a technology company (it’s an advertising machine), Amazon is not a technology company (it’s a big online store that sells stuff; but apparently not enough stuff with an Amazon logo on it).
In the end, the bean counters always win. Right now, somewhere in Amazon’s headquarters, someone is counting the beans and wondering where they went, and what the company should say about their loss, and why executives (Jeff Bezos) need to come up with some answers for the Wall Street minions who might begin wondering where all the money went.
Amazon’s stock price is courting all time highs, which is good because the company’s investors must be involved in some kind of high producing chemical substance to keep it afloat.