Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has become so successful at so many different lines of business — e-commerce, cloud computing, online video, making and selling tablets — that it “inspires universal fear” among its competitors, according to Andreessen Horowitz partner Sam Gerstenzang. He
wrote in a blog post:
When I talk to entrepreneurs in the Valley, our brother up north is the only one who inspires universal fear. No one else in our corner of the world is so good at strategy, tactics and execution.
Andreessen is a venture capital firm that has invested in Airbnb, Facebook, Foursquare, and Pinterest. So we take his opinions seriously. (But we’ll also take Gerstenzang’s rhetoric with a pinch of salt, as he’s only been at Andreessen since the summer.)
Still, he makes a good point. Bezos seems to find online revenues — $US16 billion in Q2 2013 — wherever he looks. Everyone else has their hand out for funding:
Amazon started…selling books. Now they sell everything. They’re a publisher, signing up and promoting authors directly. They make hardware: perhaps the best reading device on the market. (When the Kindle came out with unlimited, included 3G service in 2007, that shit was magic.) Don’t forget AmazonBasics: Amazon makes (or at least brands) cables, keyboards, batteries. They won’t stop there. Amazon owns Zappos. Amazon owns IMDB. Amazon owns Goodreads.
Those are only the businesses ordinary people know about. The B-to-B stuff is equally intimidating:
Am I forgetting anything? Oh. Yeah. Amazon Web Services. If I told you in 2003 that one company was going to be eating up the server business, who would have been your top five guesses? Your top 10? But Amazon is killing it: none of the incumbents nor the upstarts are close. Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, Heroku? Good luck guys.
We noted in August that Amazon Web Services has more than five times the combined capacity of its next 14 rivals, and makes $US3 billion in revenues from cloud computing.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.