Thursday, March 30, 2006

Amazon as a Corporate America 2.0 company - NOT!

I was reading over on Shel Israel's Red Couch blog in a post entitled "Amazon's CTO Retorts" about the flap that arose when the Naked Conversations guys gave a presentation at Amazon. I may comment more fully (although you can read my comments at Shel's post), but my main point is that the flap illustrates the fact that Amazon is not what I would call a Corporate America 2.0 company, not even close. They don't appear to be even remotely convinced that the "benefits" of blogging and "naked conversations" with customers, potential customers, and other stakeholders outweigh the "risks". They seem, well, rather arrogant.

I would note that it is the best-functioning companies who have the greatest risks. Look at GM
today compared to a few decades ago. Where will Amazon be in 5 years if they don't push the envelope and take every conceivable risk to leapfrog ahead?

The greatest risk for Amazon on the blogging front is inaction.

I'll close on a positive, constructive note and simple invite Amazon to add an open, conversational blog (or at least a "Blog" button) on their main web page. How hard can that be? What risk does it really entail?

Oh, and let me suggest that Shel Israel and Robert Scoble are due a sincere apology directly and publicly from Amazon's CTO for his poor behavior. A post on his blog should be sufficient, but... I want to see a "Blog" button on Amazon's main web page!!

I further extend an invitation to Amazon to join the (currently empty) ranks of and strive to build their entire business around the concept of "naked conversations" with stakeholders. Some company has to be the first big company to do so, why can't it be Amazon? If not, maybe some little nobody self-funded Web 2.0 startup might be plotting at this very moment to rise up and un-seat Amazon.

Final question: What steps will Amazon now have to take to recover from the serious damage to their reputation that the "Amazon CTO flap" has incurred?

-- Jack Krupansky


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