• Amazon: Small town shakedown?

    The other week it was announced that an Amazon warehouse would be coming to Chicagoland in the near future. What does that mean for the Northwest Indiana area? Unfortunately not much. This is due to the fact that Northwest Indiana’s shipments will continue to come from the Whitestown so that the state can collect sales tax on the products. But let’s take a look at what kind of effect the online retailer has had on the area as a whole.

    The ire of small business owners in the past decade has always seemed to be directed at Walmart and for good reason. It seemed like every time a Walmart came to a town, most of the small mom and pop retailers would be run out of business. Now, Amazon has quietly taken that title from Walmart. And the thing about Amazon is that they don’t have to move in since their business is entirely online.

    Amazon’s empire isn’t strictly limited to retail either. They have expanded to cover music and movie streaming, tablets, and potentially delivery in the future with their fleet of drones. And let’s not forget how they shook up the book industry with the Kindle. With Amazon’s numerous ventures some have called the company a monopoly that needs to be broken up.

    I don’t see them as a monopoly just yet. They are competing in various of industries with a lot of success, minus their recent smartphone debacle. However, I think we may want to revisit the monopoly conversation if their drone delivery program gets off of the ground.

  • Modern Tech Business: Evolve to exist

    It seems these days that almost every company is looking to venture into multiple industries. Gone are the days of one-dimensional companies that only compete in their primary industry. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are always looking to find a way to break into a new industries. But will we see a need for trust busting in the near future?

    Google, Amazon, and Apple are the perfect trifecta of companies that all started in different markets, but are now all now directly competing. Google started in search engine optimization and now competes as a smartphone software developer, an internet service provider, content provider (music, tv, and movies) social media platform (for now), and soon will enter the logistics industry with Google Express. Amazon started in the online retail business but now competes as a technology manufacturer, content provider, content producer, and have started to dabble in package delivery with the threat of delivery drones as well as devices. And finally, Apple started a computer hardware and software manufacturer. They may be the company that has branched out the least, but are definitely one of the most successful. While their offering of technology has expanded to phones and tablets, they revolutionized the digital music industry with iTunes, an industry they contractually never supposed to enter.  Most recently they have entered the payment industry with Apple Pay. For the most part though, Apple has been the most cautious and logical with their expansion, which sounds really odd for such an innovative company.

    But back to Google entering the logistics and delivery industry. The logistics industry seems like the hottest industry around, fueled by consumer demand for instantaneous delivery and hyper accurate tracking. And don’t underestimate the power of hyper accurate tracking, Uber was just valued at $25 billion for doing just that. Uber is another company looking to branch out. While Uber isn’t available to Northwest Indiana in its current form, however the company could migrate to the market if they evolve their services enough to become a courier service that could compete with companies like Fedex, DHL, or UPS.

    It seems that in the current business environment if you aren’t evolving and pushing your company into another industry, someone else will muscle into your industry and take a slice of the pie.