Schumpeter

The name is Bezos. Je Bezos

Could an mgm deal be the outgoing bosss parting shot?

 

May 22nd 2021 | words 1098

 

 

 


IN THE EARLY days of Amazon, its founder, Jeff Bezos, insisted there was some advertising the e-commerce giant wouldnt touch, such as guns. That extended to James Bonds Walther PPK. When producers of Skyfall, a Bond film released in 2012, sought to run an ad on the site, Amazon at first informed them that it violated the companys weapons policy. The studio was like screw you! an Amazon executive later recalled. Who is James Bond in silhouette without a gun? Literally, hes just a random dude.

 

silhouette

silhouette / siluet / 

noun 

1. [C, U] the dark outline or shape of a person or an object that you see against a light background

()

the silhouette of chimneys and towers   

 

The mountains stood out in silhouette. 

 

2. [C] the shape of a person's body or of an object

()():

 The dress is fitted to give you a flattering silhouette.   

,

 

This anecdote, one of innumerable gems in Brad Stones latest book, Amazon Unbound, springs to mind amid reports that Amazon is in talks to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), part-owner of the Bond franchise, for $9bn. The book, by one of the companys most astute observers, helps answer a question many are pondering as arguably the worlds most accomplished businessman prepares to surrender his role as CEO this summer. Will the Seattle-based e-commerce and cloud-computing juggernaut, whose revenues have grown at a compound annual rate of over 40% for more than two decades, lose momentum without its dome-headed, maths-geek mastermind? Or will it, like the Bond franchise itself, continue to thrive even with newcomers in the starring role?

 

gem

gem / dem / 

noun 1. (also less frequent gemstone / demstun; NAmE -stoun / ) a precious stone that has been cut and polished and is used in jewellery

()

SYN jewel , precious stone :

 a crown studded with gems   

 

2. a person, place or thing that is especially good

This picture is the gem (= the best) of the collection.  

 

a gem of a place  

   

She's a real gem!   

 

franchise

franchise / frntaiz / 

noun

1. [C, U] formal permission given by a company to sb who wants to sell its goods or services in a particular area; formal permission given by a government to sb who wants to operate a public service as a business

()(),

a franchise agreement / company   

 

a catering / rail franchise   

/  

In the reorganization, Southern Television lost their franchise.   

 

to operate a business under franchise   

 

2. [C] a business or service run under franchise 

()

They operate franchises in London and Paris.   

 a burger franchise   

 

astute

astute / stjut; NAmE stut / 

adj. 

very clever and quick at seeing what to do in a particular situation, especially how to get an advantage

SYN shrewd :

 an astute businessman / politician / observer   

 

It was an astute move to sell the shares then.   

 

juggernaut

juggernaut / dgnt; NAmE -grn- / 

noun

1. (BrE, often disapproving) a very large lorry / truck

juggernauts roaring through country villages   

 

2. (formal) a large and powerful force or institution that cannot be controlled

:

 a bureaucratic juggernaut   

 

 

 

One of Amazons bigger investors reckons it already knows the answer. Baillie Gifford, an Edinburgh-based asset manager, is cutting its stake. To explain why its enthusiasm has waned after 15 years as a shareholder, it borrows Mr Bezoss mantra that it should always be Day One at Amazoninfused with a spirit of long-term focus, customer obsession and bold innovation. Amazon is now seen as good value, safe and acceptable, Baillie Gifford recently told its own investors. It no longer has a founder CEO. We fear that in his inimitable terms it is no longer Day One in Seattle though the road ahead is still long and profitable.

 

wane

wane / wein / 

verb [V] 

1. to become gradually weaker or less important

SYN decrease , fade 

Her enthusiasm for the whole idea was waning rapidly.  

 

2. (of the moon ) to appear slightly smaller each day after being round and full

 

infuse

infuse / infjuz / 

verb 

1. [VN] ~ A into B | ~ B with A (formal) to make sb / sth have a particular quality

,()

Her novels are infused with sadness.   

2. [VN] (formal) to have an effect on all parts of sth

Politics infuses all aspects of our lives.   


inimitable

inimitable / inimitbl / 

adj. 

too good or individual for anyone else to copy with the same effect

John related in his own inimitable way the story of his trip to Tibet.  

 

 

There is plenty in Mr Stones book to lend weight to such a characterisation. Central to it is Mr Bezoss omnipotence within the firm. His business acumen is already legendary. Less well known is his role as a master of in-house invention on everything from Alexa, a voice-operated digital assistant, to Amazons own-label single-cow burger, his obsession with high standards, his tolerance of failure when in service to big ideas, his laser-like focus on financial nitty gritty and his (often exasperating) attention to detail. However much his successor, Andy Jassy, was schooled at his bosss hip, he may lack the inventive streak that unites the likes of Mr Bezos and Apples late founder, Steve Jobs.

 

omnipotent

omnipotent / mniptnt; NAmE m- / 

adj. 

(formal)having total power; able to do anything

an omnipotent God   

 


acumen

acumen / kjmn; kjumn / 

noun [U]

the ability to understand and decide things quickly and well

business / commercial / financial acumen  

 //

 

nitty-gritty

the nitty-gritty / niti griti / 

noun [sing.]

(informal) the basic or most important details of an issue or a situation

Time ran out before we could get down to the real nitty-gritty.  

,

 

 

 

Yet how much mileage was there left in it anyway? Despite a period last year when Mr Bezos took back day-to-day control during the pandemic, his relationship with Amazon has already become semi-detached. Mr Stone portrays a chief executive who, once he had become the worlds richest man, metamorphosed into a master of the universe. From a focus on Amazons self-perpetuating flywheel of endless choice, relentless innovation and customer-centricity, his horizons expanded: to space, for which he is building rockets; to newspaper publishing, as owner of the Washington Post; and to Hollywood, where he met Lauren Sanchez, for whom he left his wife. He moved into what Mr Stone calls an alternate dimension of wealth, glamour and international intrigue. The geek muscled up. He hung out with A-list celebrities. In short, he appeared to have outgrown his terrestrial creation.

 

metamorphose

metamorphose / metmfuz; NAmE -mrfouz / 

verb 

~ (sth / sb) (from sth) (into sth) (formal) to change or make sth / sb change into sth completely different, especially over a period of time

(),,

SYN transform :

The caterpillar will eventually metamorphose into a butterfly.   

 

 

Mr Jassy shares some of Mr Bezoss virtues, such as what Mr Stone describes as almost inhuman levels of discipline. On his watch, Amazon Web Services, the cloud business that is Amazons biggest source of profits, has exhibited the parent companys culture of high standards and unrelenting competitiveness. Since joining the firm in 1997, he has been steeped in Amazon values like frugality. In addition, as Mr Stone writes, Mr Jassy may also be somewhat humbler than Mr Bezos in confronting Amazons problems: a marketplace business accused by dissatisfied merchants of fraud and unfair competition (baselessly in Amazons eyes), warehouse staff seeking higher pay and better working conditions, and regulatory probes in America and Europe. The company is already splurging on employee health and welfare programmes.

 

unrelenting

unrelenting / nrilenti /

adj. (formal) 1. (of an unpleasant situation ) not stopping or becoming less severe

SYN relentless 

unrelenting pressure   

 

The heat was unrelenting.   

2. if a person is unrelenting, they continue with sth without considering the feelings of other people

 

 

Mr Jassys toughest task may simply be confronting the law of large numbers. With revenues of $386bn last year and a market value of $1.6trn, it is ever harder for Amazon to keep the flywheel going, especially with potential accelerators, such as India, underperforming. Last year the firm had capital expenditures of $40bn. How does it allocate so much money without frittering a lot away?

 

fritter

fritter / frit(r) / 

verb PHR V fritter stha'way (on sth) to waste time or money on things that are not important

()

He frittered away the millions his father had left him.   

 

 

The world is not enough

 

Such questions make the potential acquisition of MGM to bolster Amazons Prime subscription services intriguing. Even at a pricey $9bn, it is easily affordable for Amazon. Last year it spent $11bn on TV series, films and music for Prime. The reports come days after Mr Jassy announced the return of Jeff Blackburn, a veteran Amazon executive who left the firm recently. He will oversee a media and entertainment business that includes sports rights, such as the National Football Leagues Thursday Night Football, Twitch, Amazons gaming platform, and Amazon Studios, which recently won two Oscars. First he will report to Mr Bezos, then to Mr Jassy.

 

bolster

bolster / bulst(r); NAmE boul- /

verb [VN] ~ sth (up) to improve sth or make it stronger

to bolster sb's confidence / courage / morale   

//  

Falling interest rates may help to bolster up the economy.   

 

 

This could suggest that the post-Bezos era will be marked by the quest for a new source of rapid growtha flywheel in which blockbuster entertainment, advertising and shopping reinforce each other. Or it could be the departing CEOs final vanity project. If it is a flywheel, it may form part of a new era of competition among Americas tech giants. As one observer puts it, Amazon is trying to crack mass entertainment before Facebook and Google crack shopping. If it is a sign of hubris, it would be more worrying, suggesting that Mr Bezos will use his new role as executive chairman to drive Amazon from the leather-clad luxury of the back seat. Perhaps stroking a white cat as he does so. 

 

vanity

vanity / vnti / 

noun (pl. -ies)1. [U] (disapproving) too much pride in your own appearance, abilities or achievements

She had no personal vanity (= about her appearance).  

 2. [U] (literary) the quality of being unimportant, especially compared with other things that are important

(),,

the vanity of human ambition in the face of death   

 

3. vanities [pl.] behaviour or attitudes that show people's vanity

Politics is too often concerned only with the personal vanities of politicians.   

 

hubris

hubris / hjubris /

noun [U] (literary) the fact of sb being too proud. In literature, a character with this pride ignores warnings and laws and this usually results in their downfall and death.

 

 

clad

clad / kld / 

adj. (usually formal) 1. ~ (in sth) (often used after an adverb or in compounds ) wearing a particular type of clothing

SYN dressed 

She was clad in blue velvet.   

 warmly / scantily clad  

/ 

 leather-clad motorcyclists   

 

2. -clad (in compounds ) covered in a particular thing

snow-clad hills   

 








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Economist | The name is Bezos. Je Bezos



Schumpeter

The name is Bezos. Je Bezos

Could an mgm deal be the outgoing bosss parting shot?

 

May 22nd 2021 | words 1098

 

 

 


IN THE EARLY days of Amazon, its founder, Jeff Bezos, insisted there was some advertising the e-commerce giant wouldnt touch, such as guns. That extended to James Bonds Walther PPK. When producers of Skyfall, a Bond film released in 2012, sought to run an ad on the site, Amazon at first informed them that it violated the companys weapons policy. The studio was like screw you! an Amazon executive later recalled. Who is James Bond in silhouette without a gun? Literally, hes just a random dude.

 

silhouette

silhouette / siluet / 

noun 

1. [C, U] the dark outline or shape of a person or an object that you see against a light background

()

the silhouette of chimneys and towers   

 

The mountains stood out in silhouette. 

 

2. [C] the shape of a person's body or of an object

()():

 The dress is fitted to give you a flattering silhouette.   

,

 

This anecdote, one of innumerable gems in Brad Stones latest book, Amazon Unbound, springs to mind amid reports that Amazon is in talks to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), part-owner of the Bond franchise, for $9bn. The book, by one of the companys most astute observers, helps answer a question many are pondering as arguably the worlds most accomplished businessman prepares to surrender his role as CEO this summer. Will the Seattle-based e-commerce and cloud-computing juggernaut, whose revenues have grown at a compound annual rate of over 40% for more than two decades, lose momentum without its dome-headed, maths-geek mastermind? Or will it, like the Bond franchise itself, continue to thrive even with newcomers in the starring role?

 

gem

gem / dem / 

noun 1. (also less frequent gemstone / demstun; NAmE -stoun / ) a precious stone that has been cut and polished and is used in jewellery

()

SYN jewel , precious stone :

 a crown studded with gems   

 

2. a person, place or thing that is especially good

This picture is the gem (= the best) of the collection.  

 

a gem of a place  

   

She's a real gem!   

 

franchise

franchise / frntaiz / 

noun

1. [C, U] formal permission given by a company to sb who wants to sell its goods or services in a particular area; formal permission given by a government to sb who wants to operate a public service as a business

()(),

a franchise agreement / company   

 

a catering / rail franchise   

/  

In the reorganization, Southern Television lost their franchise.   

 

to operate a business under franchise   

 

2. [C] a business or service run under franchise 

()

They operate franchises in London and Paris.   

 a burger franchise   

 

astute

astute / stjut; NAmE stut / 

adj. 

very clever and quick at seeing what to do in a particular situation, especially how to get an advantage

SYN shrewd :

 an astute businessman / politician / observer   

 

It was an astute move to sell the shares then.   

 

juggernaut

juggernaut / dgnt; NAmE -grn- / 

noun

1. (BrE, often disapproving) a very large lorry / truck

juggernauts roaring through country villages   

 

2. (formal) a large and powerful force or institution that cannot be controlled

:

 a bureaucratic juggernaut   

 

 

 

One of Amazons bigger investors reckons it already knows the answer. Baillie Gifford, an Edinburgh-based asset manager, is cutting its stake. To explain why its enthusiasm has waned after 15 years as a shareholder, it borrows Mr Bezoss mantra that it should always be Day One at Amazoninfused with a spirit of long-term focus, customer obsession and bold innovation. Amazon is now seen as good value, safe and acceptable, Baillie Gifford recently told its own investors. It no longer has a founder CEO. We fear that in his inimitable terms it is no longer Day One in Seattle though the road ahead is still long and profitable.

 

wane

wane / wein / 

verb [V] 

1. to become gradually weaker or less important

SYN decrease , fade 

Her enthusiasm for the whole idea was waning rapidly.  

 

2. (of the moon ) to appear slightly smaller each day after being round and full

 

infuse

infuse / infjuz / 

verb 

1. [VN] ~ A into B | ~ B with A (formal) to make sb / sth have a particular quality

,()

Her novels are infused with sadness.   

2. [VN] (formal) to have an effect on all parts of sth

Politics infuses all aspects of our lives.   


inimitable

inimitable / inimitbl / 

adj. 

too good or individual for anyone else to copy with the same effect

John related in his own inimitable way the story of his trip to Tibet.  

 

 

There is plenty in Mr Stones book to lend weight to such a characterisation. Central to it is Mr Bezoss omnipotence within the firm. His business acumen is already legendary. Less well known is his role as a master of in-house invention on everything from Alexa, a voice-operated digital assistant, to Amazons own-label single-cow burger, his obsession with high standards, his tolerance of failure when in service to big ideas, his laser-like focus on financial nitty gritty and his (often exasperating) attention to detail. However much his successor, Andy Jassy, was schooled at his bosss hip, he may lack the inventive streak that unites the likes of Mr Bezos and Apples late founder, Steve Jobs.

 

omnipotent

omnipotent / mniptnt; NAmE m- / 

adj. 

(formal)having total power; able to do anything

an omnipotent God   

 


acumen

acumen / kjmn; kjumn / 

noun [U]

the ability to understand and decide things quickly and well

business / commercial / financial acumen  

 //

 

nitty-gritty

the nitty-gritty / niti griti / 

noun [sing.]

(informal) the basic or most important details of an issue or a situation

Time ran out before we could get down to the real nitty-gritty.  

,

 

 

 

Yet how much mileage was there left in it anyway? Despite a period last year when Mr Bezos took back day-to-day control during the pandemic, his relationship with Amazon has already become semi-detached. Mr Stone portrays a chief executive who, once he had become the worlds richest man, metamorphosed into a master of the universe. From a focus on Amazons self-perpetuating flywheel of endless choice, relentless innovation and customer-centricity, his horizons expanded: to space, for which he is building rockets; to newspaper publishing, as owner of the Washington Post; and to Hollywood, where he met Lauren Sanchez, for whom he left his wife. He moved into what Mr Stone calls an alternate dimension of wealth, glamour and international intrigue. The geek muscled up. He hung out with A-list celebrities. In short, he appeared to have outgrown his terrestrial creation.

 

metamorphose

metamorphose / metmfuz; NAmE -mrfouz / 

verb 

~ (sth / sb) (from sth) (into sth) (formal) to change or make sth / sb change into sth completely different, especially over a period of time

(),,

SYN transform :

The caterpillar will eventually metamorphose into a butterfly.   

 

 

Mr Jassy shares some of Mr Bezoss virtues, such as what Mr Stone describes as almost inhuman levels of discipline. On his watch, Amazon Web Services, the cloud business that is Amazons biggest source of profits, has exhibited the parent companys culture of high standards and unrelenting competitiveness. Since joining the firm in 1997, he has been steeped in Amazon values like frugality. In addition, as Mr Stone writes, Mr Jassy may also be somewhat humbler than Mr Bezos in confronting Amazons problems: a marketplace business accused by dissatisfied merchants of fraud and unfair competition (baselessly in Amazons eyes), warehouse staff seeking higher pay and better working conditions, and regulatory probes in America and Europe. The company is already splurging on employee health and welfare programmes.

 

unrelenting

unrelenting / nrilenti /

adj. (formal) 1. (of an unpleasant situation ) not stopping or becoming less severe

SYN relentless 

unrelenting pressure   

 

The heat was unrelenting.   

2. if a person is unrelenting, they continue with sth without considering the feelings of other people

 

 

Mr Jassys toughest task may simply be confronting the law of large numbers. With revenues of $386bn last year and a market value of $1.6trn, it is ever harder for Amazon to keep the flywheel going, especially with potential accelerators, such as India, underperforming. Last year the firm had capital expenditures of $40bn. How does it allocate so much money without frittering a lot away?

 

fritter

fritter / frit(r) / 

verb PHR V fritter stha'way (on sth) to waste time or money on things that are not important

()

He frittered away the millions his father had left him.   

 

 

The world is not enough

 

Such questions make the potential acquisition of MGM to bolster Amazons Prime subscription services intriguing. Even at a pricey $9bn, it is easily affordable for Amazon. Last year it spent $11bn on TV series, films and music for Prime. The reports come days after Mr Jassy announced the return of Jeff Blackburn, a veteran Amazon executive who left the firm recently. He will oversee a media and entertainment business that includes sports rights, such as the National Football Leagues Thursday Night Football, Twitch, Amazons gaming platform, and Amazon Studios, which recently won two Oscars. First he will report to Mr Bezos, then to Mr Jassy.

 

bolster

bolster / bulst(r); NAmE boul- /

verb [VN] ~ sth (up) to improve sth or make it stronger

to bolster sb's confidence / courage / morale   

//  

Falling interest rates may help to bolster up the economy.   

 

 

This could suggest that the post-Bezos era will be marked by the quest for a new source of rapid growtha flywheel in which blockbuster entertainment, advertising and shopping reinforce each other. Or it could be the departing CEOs final vanity project. If it is a flywheel, it may form part of a new era of competition among Americas tech giants. As one observer puts it, Amazon is trying to crack mass entertainment before Facebook and Google crack shopping. If it is a sign of hubris, it would be more worrying, suggesting that Mr Bezos will use his new role as executive chairman to drive Amazon from the leather-clad luxury of the back seat. Perhaps stroking a white cat as he does so. 

 

vanity

vanity / vnti / 

noun (pl. -ies)1. [U] (disapproving) too much pride in your own appearance, abilities or achievements

She had no personal vanity (= about her appearance).  

 2. [U] (literary) the quality of being unimportant, especially compared with other things that are important

(),,

the vanity of human ambition in the face of death   

 

3. vanities [pl.] behaviour or attitudes that show people's vanity

Politics is too often concerned only with the personal vanities of politicians.   

 

hubris

hubris / hjubris /

noun [U] (literary) the fact of sb being too proud. In literature, a character with this pride ignores warnings and laws and this usually results in their downfall and death.

 

 

clad

clad / kld / 

adj. (usually formal) 1. ~ (in sth) (often used after an adverb or in compounds ) wearing a particular type of clothing

SYN dressed 

She was clad in blue velvet.   

 warmly / scantily clad  

/ 

 leather-clad motorcyclists   

 

2. -clad (in compounds ) covered in a particular thing

snow-clad hills   

 








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