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Impact of the internet age on human culture and K-20 education policy/administration
Curated by Jim Lerman
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The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking | 99U

The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking | 99U | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Sean Blanda

 

“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Bezos told Wired in 2011. “But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”

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"We can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term."-------

"In a nod to Bezos’ obsession with long-term thinking, 99U has combed through a dozen interviews and profiles on the CEO and pulled out a handful of his day-to-day habits that can help you keep an eye on the long term, just like Bezos."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

Quite an informative piece on Bezos.

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Fields Jackson, Jr's comment, August 12, 2013 2:16 PM
Great article
John Michel's curator insight, August 12, 2013 10:59 PM

A superb reminder at we can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term.

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AmazonFresh Is Jeff Bezos' Last Mile Quest For Total Retail Domination | Fast Company

AmazonFresh Is Jeff Bezos' Last Mile Quest For Total Retail Domination | Fast Company | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by J.J. McCorvey

 

"As Amazon evolves into a same-day delivery service, its active transportation fleet could become yet another competitive advantage. By supplementing its long-term relationships with UPS and FedEx with its own Fresh trucks, Amazon may well be able to deliver faster than retailers that depend entirely on outside services. "Pretty soon, if you're a retailer with your online business, you're going to be faced with a choice," says Brian Walker, a former analyst at Forrester Research who is now with Hybris, a provider of e-commerce software. "You're not going to be able to match Amazon, so you're going to have to consider partnering with them and leveraging their network."

 

"This shift could even turn Amazon into a competitor to UPS and FedEx, the long-standing duopoly of next-day U.S. shipping. "If Amazon could do it at enough scale, they could offer shipping at a great value and still eke out some margin," says Walker. "In classic Amazon fashion, they could leverage the infrastructure they've built for themselves, take a disruptive approach to the pricing, and run it as an efficiency play."

Jim Lerman's insight:

See my comment on the related story about Bezos and his purchase of the Washington Post, adjacent to this Scoop.

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Jeff Bezos Bought The Washington Post For One Thing: Distribution

Jeff Bezos Bought The Washington Post For One Thing: Distribution | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Gabe Stein

 

"The nature of Amazons business is changing to reflect a new media landscape. What does Bezos see in the future of publishing that the rest of us dont"

 

"Purpose-built distribution networks for different kinds of content are beginning to solidify into infrastructure, just as e-commerce did 10 years ago. And if we’ve learned anything about Bezos, it’s that he loves to own his own infrastructure and leverage it into new kinds of business we can’t even imagine right now."

Jim Lerman's insight:

These two posts about Bezos, the Washington Post, and "total retail domination' (positioned very close to each other on this page) might, at first glance, have little to do with education. In addition, to fully understand the sentence in the last paragraph  above ("Purpose-built distribution networks for different kinds of content are beginning to solidify into infrastructure, just as e-commerce did 10 years ago.) requires, for most of us I think, a deep and reflective reading of the article that contains it. This is challenging stuff to get one's mind around.

 

Certainly we can see the emergence of "purpose-build distribution networks for content" in the education space. Services such as Edmodo, Schoology, the ebook publishing services of Apple and others, iTunes U, MOOCs, LMSs such as Moodle and Blackboard, Discovery Network, and certainly Rupert Murdock's Amplify are all attemps to create infrastructures. The extent to which these services seek to dominate this space depend, it seems to me, largely on the profit motives of their owners. In the cases of Apple, Blackboard, and Amplify, their commitment to profit necessitates a drive toward domination of the marketplace. In the cases of Moodle and other non-profit or open source endeavors, the drive toward  market domination is perhaps less strong.

 

Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post is but a blip, albeit perhaps (metaphorically at least)  a significant one, on the radar screen of distribution networks solidifying into infrastructures. Seen in the context of Amazon's drive to domiinate retail distribution, this clarifies (at least for me) the land rush that is the current frantic battle of numeroous entities to become dominant in the digital delivery of content to schools.

 

For about a century, delivery of content to schools has been the province of the textbook publishers. The mergers, sell-offs, and unfriendly takeovers in this industry have narrowed the field to a very few survivors...all of which are now struggling (unsuccessfully) to survive the digital onslought.

 

Just follow the money. The companies that manage to become dominant in the digital distribution of content, to become the infrastructure of educational content delivery, stand to reap billions of dollars. And the tendancy of this market to narrow the number of competitors over time (as happened with textbooks) means that only a very few players may come to decide just what the content will be that students receive in school. This concentration of power, and potential narrowing of perspective, seem to be the kinds of trends that responsible educators,  dedicated to development of self-directed learners, would see as dangerous to the American ideals of freedom and liberty.

 

Jeff Bezos is not the enemy here. In fact, he should probably be thanked for heightening our awareness of what is going on around us.

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