Member Brief: It’s Not Us, It’s Them

 

The concept of opportunity is deeply personal to me. Opportunity is earned through hard work, proximity, favor, and luck. For many, luck is the variable that wavers. But for others, it is often proximity. One of the last obstacles in eCommerce is the democratization of access and proximity to opportunity.
Amazon is a remarkable company that has improved the world in a number of ways. The retailer has fundamentally changed how Americans consume and, as the second-largest employer in the United States, how many of us work and live. But in one respect, the company continues to lag behind.
When Henry Ford built the Model T automobile, he fundamentally changed America. Not just by who drove the vehicles but by the diaspora of Americans who manufactured them. When Apple minted the idea of the personal computer, the company changed America. The common thread is democratization. This isn’t about what Amazon has changed, this is about what it hasn’t. Amazon changed America without changing America. And that’s a shame.

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