The evolution of Amazon from a meager garage bookstore to the largest superstore in the world is both bewildering and informative. The initial focus that Jeff Bezos had for Amazon was a large online bookstore. However, this focus changed to an online marketplace for all types of products and services.
The first reason that led to the shift in focus for Mr. Bezos was the stiff competition Amazon faced. At its inception, the company was written off as a dot-com fever dream destined to be eaten up by bigger bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble (Treanor, 2010). Amazon was still in its inception stage while these two mega stores had already developed. Their improved infrastructure and developed distribution networks posed a great challenge to Amazon’s growth prior to the innovation of Amazon’s renowned e-reader, Amazon Kindle.
The second reason for Jeff’s shift in focus was his personal desire to exploit the e-commerce sector. Amazon was initially called Cadabra by Bezos. However, after someone overheard the name as ‘cadaver’ Bezos changed the name to Amazon. This moniker showed his desire to once serve large areas as the Amazon served the whole of South America (Ritala, Golnam & Wegmann, 2014). This name also did not limit him to offering any specific products and services. The company slowly started diversifying from its initial focus on books alone to selling music CDs, electronics, toys, and tools the following year. The third and last reason for Bezos’ change in focus was the multiple growing innovations in content creation and digital text messaging. Amazon pursued content creation and content delivery through its Amazon Video Direct and Amazon Prime Video platforms.
The journey of Amazon is an excellent example of how adaptability and change in focus can be beneficial to a business. The management and top leaderships of businesses should adapt to changes in their marketplaces whether technological or infrastructural.
Ritala, P., Golnam, A., & Wegmann, A. (2014). Coopetition-based business models: The case of Amazon. com. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(2), 236-249.
Treanor, T. (2010). Amazon: love them? Hate them? Let’s follow the money. Publishing research quarterly, 26(2), 119-128.