A founder entrepreneur
Amazon is closely linked to its founder: Jeff Bezos. In 1994 he decided to create Amazon, an online book reselling company. The starting point was to be able to deliver to anyone all books you might want to buy. Day after day, they built the web platform to sell books and then to provide them as fast as they could to customers. Part of Amazon’s DNA is the completion of their offer: they want it from A to Z as you can see in Amazon’s logo. In 1997, for Amazon’s IPO they claimed to be “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” which was a blatant attack against bookshops, which can’t afford to have all book titles in their shops.
With the Internet boom, Amazon took the opportunity to find adjacent businesses. What is close to books? Same size? Large catalogues? Can you buy online? CD, DVD came to be the next market to dominate online sales. eBay’s success pushed Amazon to expand in the resale market and to build their marketplace. This would also support their growth. The pattern was clear: extensive catalogues, small margin and fast delivery. To improve delivery time and encourage clients to “click”, they found a key differentiator in 2005 with “Amazon Prime”. For an annual fee all your deliveries are fast and free! A very smart move, delivery was the first step, Prime includes now a very long features list, instant video, cloud as examples. By early 2015, Amazon reached 50+ million prime customers which represents multi-billion $ a year!
And the Cloud?
It was thanks to all their know-how that Amazon developed their appetite to use and build technology tools to support their business and their differentiation.So, to help resellers with web tools Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched in 2006. 8 years later, AWS proposes an extensive Cloud Computing solution. In 2014, AWS reached one million clients and early 2015 some analysts value this part of Amazon at more than 35 Bilion $!
Leader of a new utility
The Cloud Computing is a new electricity of computing; Amazon Web Services will be part of this story. AWS’s pace of innovation is unprecedented, they add more features, services each year (more than 500 in 2014), and it keeps growing. Each time a competitor launches a similar solution the market compares it to an AWS one. Look at Google’s Nearline, which is always compared to AWS Glacier. This is the mark of Amazon Web Services leadership.
A great responsibility
With this leadership come great responsibilities; from my perspective I see three:
Data privacy, a must for cloud trust. Data location, privacy and security are always a top priority for cloud users. The cloud leader needs to show how to address these concerns and to be able to develop the required trust for cloud in the long run.
Sustainability 10% of the world’s electricity is now used for the infrastructure of IT services. How can we sustain this? It’s more than the airline industry! Amazon’s leadership needs to build a sustainable computing business. Again it’s for the long run.
Innovation The cloud computing utility is an innovation enabler. AWS needs to support innovation and take responsibility for its impact on society. The temptation to seize innovation unscrupulously might be huge. AWS needs to support innovation which thanks their leadership.
I am waiting for the next leader in a new industry, any ideas?