Felix Salmon wrote for WIRED about the false tale of Amazon’s industry-conquering juggernaut.
Still, as Bezos will readily admit, most of his investment ideas fail. Just because Amazon spends a huge amount of money on, say, trying to create a new social network, doesn’t mean it’s going to have any visible success doing so. After Amazon spent $545 million to acquire Diapers.com, for instance, it ended up shuttering the business, claiming it couldn’t make it profitable.
Ultimately, Amazon is not a disruptive force so much as it’s just a big, rich company which spends a lot of resources trying a lot of things. That’s smart, for Amazon, but it certainly doesn’t mean that industry after industry is going to get disrupted the minute the Seattle giant lays eyes on it. Even Amazon’s core business of retailing hasn’t changed all that much: e-commerce still accounts for less than 10 percent of total sales, and Amazon is a minority of that 10 percent.
Amazon goes into many industries but it isn’t a big player in the field. It just has a presence that helps to spread the Amazon brand and influence. Is Amazon the biggest player or a disruptive force in advertising, cloud computing, TV shows, book publishing, voice assistant manufacturer? How about e-Commerce? Amazon relies on a lot of third-party sellers to drive the platform.