Sep 6, 2021
With Bestselling Author and Silicon Valley Journalist Brad Stone
There’s no question that technology has made a big impact on our lives, first in the workplace and now at home. While we may be busier than ever, technology helps us manage our fast-paced lifestyles. Think of all the ways companies like Amazon may save us time by providing a single website where we can research products, compare, and purchase items with a single click. Our Alexa devices turn lights on/off, provide news and weather reports, entertain us with jokes and music, and even provide cooking tips! Of course, my favorite request is asking Alexa to play the latest episode of “Today’s Takeaway with Florine Mark.” But there’s no denying that being able to purchase anything and have it delivered to our homes is an amazing convenience. When Jeff Bezos initially imagined an online store where customers could purchase literally everything and have it delivered, he wasn’t far off the mark. But of course, that was only the beginning.
Journalist and author, Brad Stone, probably knows Jeff Bezos better than anyone after extensively researching and writing two books about him and the evolution of his global empire. His first book, The Everything Store, described the birth of Amazon.com during the early years. His latest book, Amazon Unbound, is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into Bezos’ astronomical fortune and the explosive growth of the largest retailer in the world.
What You’ll Hear in This Episode:
One of the most amazing success stories of our generation has been the explosive growth of Amazon. By 2015, Amazon became the fastest-growing company to surpass $1B in sales and employ more than 1 million people by 2020. Amazon’s annual revenues surged to over $380B. During the pandemic, Amazon became the one-stop shop for virtually all of our needs by delivering in-demand items at a time where brick and mortar stores had empty shelves. Today Amazon continues to provide employment opportunities throughout the world including right here in the Detroit area. Amazon not only changed our shopping habits but also transformed how we interact with technology in our homes. Alexa may be leading the way with smart home devices today, but according to a recent article in Time, the future of artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. 10 years from now, experts predict the smartest devices will be able to learn our habits and preferences, anticipate our needs, and initiate tasks automatically. There is also a growing concern with how smart devices like Alexa conflict with our need for privacy and impact our social lives. Although Alexa and Amazon have made staying at home easier, it’s important to remember that there is no substitute for socializing in person. I’m a hugger, and I can’t do that over the Internet. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”
“This is the most focused person in the world.” — Brad
“Why is Jeff Bezos a genius entrepreneur but a controversial employer?” — Florine
“I don’t think it’s right to say his life is based on a series of mistakes. I would say his life is based on ingenuity, and being far-sighted, and seeing technological advancements before anyone else.” — Brad
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