Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Technology Review: Amazon: Giving Away the Store

Technology Review: Amazon: Giving Away the Store "While companies such as Google and Microsoft are also experimenting with the idea of letting outsiders tap into their databases and use their content in unpredictable ways (see “What’s Next for Google?”), none is proceeding more aggressively than Amazon. The company has, in essence, outsourced much of its R&D, and a growing portion of its actual sales, to an army of thousands of software developers, who apparently enjoy nothing more than finding creative new ways to give Web surfers access to Amazon merchandise—and earning a few bucks in the process. The result: a syndicate of mini-Amazons operating at very little cost to Amazon itself and capturing customers who might otherwise have gone elsewhere. It’s as if Starbucks were to recruit 50,000 of its most loyal caffeine addicts to strap urns of coffee to their backs each morning and, for a small commission, spend the day dispensing the elixir to their officemates."
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