Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Kindle 2
I always admire Amazon.com, and consider it the greatest website in the era of new economy. Perhaps a lot of people have a different view for they would rather choose YouTube, Google, Facebook, Wikipedia or some other cooler websites as their pick. In fact, I visit those Web 2.0 websites more than I do Amazon.
Yes, all these websites including Yahoo! and eBay are great. But I have my reasons to rank Amazon No. 1 in my list. In terms of Web 2.0 capabilities, Amazon seems laggard. In terms of business model, selling books and a variety of tangible stuff and groceries online, merely shifting market place to a virtual world, is really old fashion. And the Kindle reader and eBook sale of Amazon are at their initial stages; the success is yet to tell.
Moneymaker vs Transformer
Unlike Amazon, Google for example, mainly based its business on search engine and AdWord pay-per-click online advertisement, continues yielding fat incomes every year (USD21.8 billion in 2008). While the net generation continues to fold, they stand proud of YouTube and Facebook, which have attracted investors to throw tons of money at them while still at their start-up stage, and with no clear business model to ensure profitability. Google bought the online video site YouTube for USD1.67 billion in the late 2006; in September 2007, Microsoft offered USD300-500 million to acquire 5% stake in Facebook.
In view of ideas, inventions, and creativity, I agree that Google, Google Earth, Facebook and Wikipedia make greater revolutionary contribution than the Amazon’s B2C which have now expanded to cover C2C e-Marketplace.
My rationale of selecting Amazon as the greatest website is relatively straightforward. Amazon is a role model that bridges the old and the new economy; Amazon is a transformer.
In the beginning of any new eras, you can start fresh with all kinds of wild thinking. It may work out pretty well if you pushed the right button. But how about in a world that is full of unloadable old burdens, which you just can’t discard. You can’t just embrace the virtual world and forget about the real world. You can’t just distinctly segregate the two worlds and pretend that they stand independently without any connections at all. And you can’t just leave the brick and mortar businesses aside and say that they are too old to be rejuvenated by tapping on the available Internet resources.
Inventing vs Remaking
We are in the midst of transition. In my opinion, to start fresh with a new idea is much easier than to inject a new idea to refresh an old system. And Amazon did it with superb results. Amazon is a very good reference for myriads of old businesses out there that are struggling to get a breather.
The role of Amazon does not end here. The Amazon was selected by Business Week (2nd March 2009 issue) to top the 25 best companies in Customer Service Champs list. They even outran the real world traditional companies that actually meet their clients, face-to-face everyday, in services!
I support the decision to place Amazon at the reign of The Best Service Champ. I buy books from Amazon and online Barnes and Noble bookstore; and I deal with Yahoo, Google and Alibaba for FingerTec’s ads too. I’ve had some perfect experiences from Amazon and Google; but Yahoo! and Barnes & Noble left me with nightmares.
To earn a solid thumbs-up in the virtual world
I quote this paragraph directly from Business Week, “For the past, Amazon has earned a reputation for strong service by letting customers get what they want without talking to an employee. Sales clerks are nonexistent. Orders ship with a few mouse clicks. Packages arrive on doorsteps quickly. It all happens with monotonous regularity even as the number of customers has doubled in the past five years to 88 millions. But when things go wrong at Amazon – and they occasionally do – the company’s employees get involved. That may be where Amazon stands out most markedly from other companies, and helps explain how the company earned the No.1 spot on Business Week’s customer service ranking this year.”
You won’t find the slightest glitch, you won’t lost in the maze of interlinks, everything from their website is perfectly covered, the online shopping experience at Amazon is pleasant; and complaint emails for any kinds of problems would be replied within a day.
I stole quite some online business concepts from Amazon and Google. I contemplate our service commitment, and how the services can be delivered online without real human contact, and the customers still give you a thumbs-up. And how to extend our technical support services to cover end users too. And when things go wrong at FingerTec, how our people get involve straightening things out fast and efficient. Of course, we have more to learn and our system needs fine-tuning.
Stay tuned, more to come
Without Internet, there is no Amazon, no miracle to turn a supposedly traditional business into a gem. Without Internet, FingerTec is just a banal brand too, and we would be confined to a smaller regional market.
And we don’t limit ourselves to learn only from Amazon. We adopt Google’s unconventional clean and simple front page as our main page, and their motto, “Don’t be evil” as our belief to move the entire company ahead. We make use of online resources to enrich our system like placing FingerTec’s product video clips on YouTube and using Google Map to mark our worldwide resellers on the map.
Besides enriching our product line, you can expect FingerTec to continue adding in many more features to our B2B Internet platform to benefit our customers.
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ