Back in 1996, Mary and I owned and operated Proud Mary's Bookstore. This was the year that Mary sat on a private secret committee to show Amazon staff how to sell books from the out of print world.
Through almost daily conference calls, reams of non-compete and non-disclosure forms, she showed the Amazon people how the out of print book dealers sold books. At that time, Amazon had about 20 people on staff, working from saw horses and wooden doors as desks.
What most people didn't know was that Amazon had no books to sell. They were brokering the inventory and stock of some 1,800 out of print book dealers and the new inventory of Ingram Book Company in Nashville, Tennessee.
The standard operating procedure for Amazon, the corporate side, was to issue a press release on everything they did. At the end of the day, Amazon was born as a press release driven stock company.
Through the good and bad times of the last 17 years, this model as done them well. Now, moving forward into the second decade of the 21st century, Amazon is not only selling books, E-books, and book readers (Kindle), they are moving well beyond the book world for future profits.
Amazon is one of the major private corporations seriously engage in the privatization of space travel and mining of near Earth resources such as asteroids. There are only 12 major corporations trying to define this new space market place.
The other special marketplace that Amazon is tracking is the computer technological marketplace of Cloud Storage. Below, is a new press release about Amazon.com that speaks to this new corporate effort.
"Amazon is building the CIA a cloud. Apparently Amazon, that giant of commerce, is building a cloud-computing network for the agency in McLean. Federal Computer Week reported the agency will pay Amazon $600 million to develop its own private cloud over the next 10 years.
Killer Apps' John Reed writes: "This would make plenty of sense. Amazon is well-known for providing cloud-computing services to the private sector, and government agencies dealing with classified information are pushing to adopt cloud services as a way of consolidating thousands of network 'enclaves' that are hard to defend. The Pentagon, for example, is building what it says will be a defendable, upgradable network, known as the Joint Information Environment."
In 1996, Amazon stock was $18.00 Five years later, just after the World Trade Centers came down in New York, their stock had been driven to $4.75. This price was as much about the state of the economy during the first year of the Bush Administration as it was about terrorism.
Today, Amazon stock is selling at around $256. The Amazon model is working well for the new I-Pad and online marketplace. The thought of Amazon becoming part of the new military, space, spying industrial complex is complex and chilling at the same time. Bottom line is whatever they attempt to do, they will make more money. Their days of rags are now long gone.