Amazon and Corporate Innovation

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Amazon and Corporate Innovation
Dale Le Bar
CSU Global

Amazon and Corporate Innovation
Amazon was founded in 1994 by its current CEO, Jeff Bezos, which was then launched online in 2005 ("History of Amazon," 2014). After reviewing products that were capable of being sold online, Bezos focused his efforts on online book sales. This served as the jumping point for Amazon, before its venture into numerous fields. In 1997, Bezos took Amazon public and within the first year guided amazon towards becoming the first online retailer to exceed one million customers. ("History of Amazon," 2014). Stocks have always proven interesting when it comes to Amazon, providing headaches for investors due to Amazon’s innovation techniques. This past quarter Amazon reported falling stocks, though Amazon grew in its early years amassing 2.26 million customers in March of 1998 ("History of Amazon," 2014). Amazon follows the traditional hierarchy for businesses, with Bezos as the CEO and a board of directors immediately underneath him. Apart from growth Amazon is more known for another one of its endeavors, innovation. Bezos has said that “Innovation is part of the Amazon DNA and over the past 15 years we have been constantly adding and refining technology that enhances and improves the experience of all our customers” (Curtis, 2013, para. 3). For undeniable proof that Amazon is a world class leader in innovation, a brief excerpt from the list of innovations includes things like 1-click, where all buyer relevant information is stored allowing for simple 1-click purchases. As well as the kindle, an e-reader and tablet directly competing against Apple’s IPad (Curtis, 2013). Amazon is not afraid to venture into new territory, with things like AmazonFresh dealing directly with consumer grocery purchases, a far cry from the humble beginnings as an online book retailer.

A lever of Innovation in Amazon’s Innovation strategy
As said in the course material, “Innovation is not just about new technology; it also includes business model innovation” (Colorado State University – Global Campus, 2013). The six levers of innovation are a method of describing what innovation is, initially separating innovation into two types, business model and technology. Technology innovation is a strong suit of Amazon. The Kindle serves as both a product and the introduction of another service, one of the three levers of technological innovation (Colorado State University – Global Campus, 2013). The Kindle is an e-reader introduced in 2007 by Amazon (Penenberg, 2009), now in its fourth generation. At its introduction it was not the only e-reader available to consumers, nor did Bezos simply want to introduce a new tech device to the public. The Kindle may be viewed as a mere tool as “Jeff Bezos is trying to do to book publishers what Steve Jobs of Apple did to the music industry” (Penenberg, 2009, para. 6). Because the kindle utilizes the e-book format, traditional book publishers are removed from the picture. This then paves the way for another Amazon innovation, Book Surge, where books are printed on demand (Curtis, 2013). So utilizing the Kindle, or the Kindle application on a wide range of devices, a reader can purchase the e-book version, and if they like the book they can then purchase a freshly printed copy directly from Amazon. Planning for Innovation

One of the latest innovations coming from Amazon is AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service currently available in Seattle (McCorvey, 2013). Grocery delivery is a concept that at first glance is foreign to Amazon, largely in part that Groceries are perishable and cannot be left sitting in one of Amazon’s numerous warehouses. In order to achieve this goal, the team at Amazon has established a multi-tier scheme culminating in the advent of AmazonFresh. The first tier, which has already been rolled out is Amazon Prime. As a $79 per year service, Amazon Prime grants the customer 2-day shipping on...