It’s easy to forget how dominant Amazon has become in our lives. An article from the Economist a few weeks ago (I’m behind!) is a good reminder. Some tidbits:
- It is now the world’s fifth largest company by value (currently at ~$400B), with sales at about $140B
- It accounts for 5% of retail spending in the US (roughly half of Walmart)
- Alexa already has has ~10,000 skills (sort of akin to apps), despite the recency of its launch
- Amazon spends twice as much much on movies / TV than HBO
- The number of Amazon prime customers is now ~72M, up 32% from 2015.
Only 10 firms with sales of more $50B have managed to grow by 15% for over 10 years since 1950; no company over $100B has pulled that off. Can Amazon be the one? I wouldn’t rule it out.
If you thought the public discourse on social media wasn’t civil now, there may be more bad news as the world gets hotter. MIT tech review published this in the latest edition and the data is apparently a study of over a billion tweets.
Apparently there’s a correlation between profanity (at least in tweets) and the ambient temperature. If you are looking for the original paper for more details it can be found here.
The Economist had a nice article on Uber this week and how it’s poised for world domination.
Apparently, it now operates in 72 countries, 425 cities, with an estimated revenue of ~$4B/year. However, most of Uber’s bookings are just made in 20 of those 425 cities. Worth a quick scan.
The New Yorker had an interesting article about the old/new technology of airships .
Two points caught my eye:
- Early zepplins were made from cow intestines. Apparently it took 250k cows to make one airship. Ouch.
- Apparently “more than two-thirds of the world’s land area and more than half the world’s population has no direct access to paved roads”. That’s a lot.
Move over drones, it’s time for the Amazon airships.
The Economist had an early review of a new book that promises a look into the future of professional work (including, I’m assuming consulting).
The summary seems to be that technology is going to take away a lot of the work that we normally do. I agree on the mundane things (gathering data, looking for trends, …); I’m less convinced when it comes to the non-sexy, but essential part of consulting (e.g. managing clients, understanding client dynamics / politics). Looks interesting.