Amazon Drones May Crash and Burn while Google Robot Trucks Deliver $AMZN, $GOOG, $TSLA, $FDX, $UPS, $DPSGY, $SAMS

Amazon.com Inc as we all know pulled a great publicity stunt and announced delivery by drone coming soon just a soon as technology and regulators allow it. A little bit too Star Trekkie for me. Consider this:

A customer lives in a high-rise condo. How do you deliver to a specific condo?

A customer has been receiving products at work because someone is always in the accept. how do you deliver to a high-rise office.

Just how many of these things will we need. Right now a delivery truck can easily take care of 200 customers during a day. Trucks are loaded at night and drivers roll in the early morning deploying as the urban traffic patterns allow. Consumer deliveries at night are not feasible.

Half hour delivery or its free is tough. Just ask any pizza operator. Or watch a pizza delivery guy in traffic ahead of you. It’s dangerous.

What about urban guerilla warfare. How many geeks and techs will hack the airwaves and pirate the shipments. If the mob can high-jack a tractor-trailer of goods the mob will learn how to high jack drones. Not to mention bored but brilliant teenagers who will just try to shoot them down.

I’m putting my money on Google with its driver-less cars. Add in some Tesla green tech and you have trucks that can deliver. The drones will be robots that can bring from truck to doorway.

Oh and there’s always the terrorists who will deliver a small but lethal package right to the Whitehouse and god only knows where else. Free shipping it beats high jacking jumbo jets and all that airport security stuff.

If you thought Apple Inc, Samsung and Google had global patent lawsuits going FedEx, UPS and DHL will not sit back and let Amazon take this one over.

Amazon to capture book reviews with Washington Post $AMZN $NYT

Jeff Bezos using some loose change he found in one of his coats bought the Washington Post. Old news. Everyone believes he is positioning himself for political power. Which might be somewhat correct.

But consider this speculation in the world of publishing. the old system had gate keepers and middlemen who did quite well. Publishers, editors, agents who would score very nicely with best sellers and near best sellers.

Entire Amazon and disrupt the industry to the point where many of the old school are utterly confused and have no vision. They cannot even pick JK Rowling out of the slush pile when given the opportunity.

One of the gate keepers has been the best seller lists maintained by the large newspapers. NY Times best seller list being the gold standard. This item is not under the control of Amazon and focuses on big dog authors doing big dog sales.

The indie market is much bigger. More hamburger is sold than filet minion.  But NY Times is not about hamburger.

Amazon just bought out Goodreads a few months ago.

Watch for a repurposing at Washington Post to match Amazons publishing ambitions and bringing more independent authors to the lime light. This is make it more compelling to read Washington Post and drive sales at Amazon.

But I’m just speculating. But it does create a virtuous circle of self sustaining activity which otherwise did not exist. The literary sections of many papers have been labours of love and chronically unprofitable. Watch for changes.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Best Buy Sticks with a Homey for CEO. Not exactly the Big Bold Bet. $BBY $AMZN $DJTRET $RTH

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Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) announced a new CEO with a supposedly mid range pay package. Mid range that is for a company of Best Buy’s size. Brand new CEO Hubert Joly scored a pay package valued around $32 million over three years to entice him to the problematic consumer-electronics chain.

OK so Best buy is not hot and the opportunity to run it may not be the best piece of sugar out there. However, it does put to rest the lack of CEO quandary. More telling is Hubert Joly has a history of working with problematic companies. He has more recently been running Carlson a global hospitality company and or Carlson Travel. This puts him squarely into the Minneapolis Business milieu, which quite frankly is not that big.

So here is the inferred strategy from the board of directors by the numbers:

  1. The corporation has a problem
  2. We blow off the chief problem maker
  3. We hire a new guy with no retail experience
  4. But the new no retail guy is good at stabilizing companies
  5. Why do this?
  6. Unstable companies do not attract super-star candidates
  7. Unstable companies do not attract premium paying take over offers
  8. Board is still uncertain about what course to take in the future
  9. Board is still uncertain how the market cookie will crumble
  10. But in the meantime stability guy fixes what can be fixed.
  11. Also hire lots of consultants and investment bankers to get advice and unlock value.
  12. This is not the time to hire the retail equivalent of Marisa Meyer
  13. The retail equivalent of Marissa Meyer is probably Jeff Bezos.
  14. This means a take-over by Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) so we need to clean up the joint.
  15. In the mean time we need to sell some big-ass TV’s.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Kindle Fire plays to WiFi. When will Jeff Bezos strike at Verizon and At&T $AMZN #kindlefire $VZ $T $AAPL

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When Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) comes out with a product Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and others scramble for allocation and hope to generate broadband usage and plan fees. Kindle is playing the Wifi route. No expensive plans supposedly. Just use Wifi either at home or in hot spots. Officially no big bills to get upset about.

As users abandon laptops and migrate to tablets the usage stays the same or so we think. Broadband still goes up because the tablet is way easier and more compelling. But the bill for internet use is separate. Psychologically the consumer does not connect the two very closely. Also carriers will not get bullied by an Apple and there will be no complicated co-branding agreements.

Until Kindle Fire becomes more established and then Jeff Bezos strikes. Right now its a game of patience.

Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I hold no positions in any stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours.

Apple pride drives poor iPad pricing. Kindle Fire changes tipping point $AAPL $AMZN #kindlefire #ipad

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Kindle Fire finally dove into the shark tank. Just remember technology eats its own babies. Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) and Jeff Bezos have launched the smartest device to drive sales and revenues directly into Amazon. The Kindle price points have delighted the market. Compared to iPad a lot of new users will naturally gravitate to Kindle Fire. Jeff Bezos is very smart in not getting into a PR word battle about Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) losing its dominance. Just make the customer happy and laugh to the bank which is hopefully still solvent.

Apple is not stupid. They will monitor their sales carefully. They already have cut back the manufacturing orders. The moment iPad pricing is dropped to create more value you know the tipping point has been reached. Currently the apple game plan is to be cool with the most app’s thereby driving demand but at a high price. The price is not sustainable. If Apple tries to chase the price down it will alienate customers and signal to the world that it has it wrong.

You can imagine what the stock price will do as the energy changes from hyper-positive to hyper-negative. Market behaviours are manic-depressive and you know it’s coming.

Notice I’ve said nothing about the other tablets.

Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I own both iPhone and Kindle e-reader. I do not hold positions in stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours. 

Jeff Bezos Sneaky Canadian Investment $AMZN #fusion #amazon

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Jeff Bezos just made a $20 million investment in a company called General Fusion. General Fusion is a Canadian company attempting to develop nuclear fusion and help solve the energy crisis. Sounds like a good idea and definitely fits into the venture capital high risk spectrum. General Fusion based in Burnaby British Columbia is just north of Washington State. So it’s just like down the street, if you know what I mean.

I have no problems with capitalism. I certainly would like the energy crisis to be solved. A lot of environmental problems would also diminish or go away at the same time. But when Jeff Bezos starts making big bets which are also big strategy you have to wonder if he is still full-time with Amazon.

Did the board of directors sign off on his venture capital activities and declare no conflict of interest. Amazon consumes lots of energy. Amazon is becoming a big player in cloud computing which is a long way from selling books and stuff. So why is an investment in nuclear fusion not for amazon shareholders?

Disclosure: “George Gutowski” writes from a “Caveat Emptor Perspective”. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours.