December 24, 2014
I don't know if any company has ever blown my mind as many times in as little time as Amazon did in 2014. And here they are once again outdoing themselves. Allow me to paint a picture for you.
Imagine you are a high-powered executive in Manhattan. Your work is your life, and you worship at the altar of productivity. You have a wife and a few kids. You see them in passing a couple of times a week but you make sure to have your assistant block out time on your agenda for important events like birthdays and graduations and occasional "quality time." The whole family consists of overachievers, so they all live at a break-neck pace anyway. It's a comfortable system. The one exception is your black sheep, the youngest son who fancies himself an artist but is really just an underachieving pothead. But he's happiest of all to see you so rarely because he thinks you're embarrassed about him — and naturally, he hates you.
You and your wife get along; there's definitely some sort of bond there. Is it love? Maybe, whatever that is. But it doesn't define the relationship, as you both derive happiness from success and power. You got married because it was time to do so, and your lifestyles and values align quite well. She'll be happy as long as she doesn't catch you cheating.
Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays are tough for you. You know you're supposed to be thankful on Thanksgiving and merry on Christmas and share joy with your loved ones throughout the season, but that joy comes at such a cost in time and opportunity that you struggle with it. The fourth quarter is demanding enough as it is — what idiot decided to put three major holidays in it?
You often rely on your assistant to purchase gifts for your wife. It's just as well; she knows your wife's tastes much better than you do. But it's just so damn cliché, and you know it would be good to have a more intimate relationship with your wife, so this year you've decided to take care of her Christmas present yourself.
Turns out that was a bad idea, huh? You've put it off for the past two weeks, and you just looked at the calendar. Holy crap! Tomorrow's Christmas! You could stop somewhere on Fifth Avenue, maybe drop into Tiffany and pick something expensive at random (it's the blue box that matters), but you've got meetings scheduled for the rest of the day and a million things to wrap up before closing shop! There's no time!!!
Well, boss, I've got good news for you: Jeff Bezos has you covered!
It just so happens that in your single, solitary zip code, he'll take your order and dispatch it to you via bike messenger in — get this! — less than 60 minutes. He'll only charge you $7.99, but if you're okay with it getting there in two hours, delivery is free! Oh, and he's got 25,000 items for you to choose from! There's gotta be something she'll like!
Okay, story time is over. You get the picture. One-hour delivery … incredible, isn't it? I remember my mind was blown the first time I ordered something and — just for the hell of it — paid for them to deliver it that same day. And more recently, the USPS delivered a package to me from Amazon … on a Sunday? Last I heard, the USPS was considering a halt to Saturday delivery!
I'll tell you what, that Bezos is a beast.