Bezos and His Drones

Towards the end of Amazon and the Benefits of Vision Ben Thompson explained the importance of vision — and the consequences of a deficiency in this department — using many of today’s top tech companies as examples. At that point not particularly interested in Amazon’s alleged plans slated for years down the road,, I found this all too brief examination much more fascinating than his actual topic. And then I read an article by Kevin Roose of the New York Magazine, which John Gruber linked to on Tuesday.

Up until I read Kevin Roose’s piece, most of the articles reporting on Amazon’s interesting plan to employ octocopter drones for delivering packages in thirty minute or less approached the topic from one of two directions: as an expose laying out the numerous benefits such a program could provide consumers, or from a more critical perspective as the writer sought to discredit Amazon’s strategy using the numerous barriers implementing such a system faces. Some naturally took the middle road, but most erred to one side or the other. Then John Gruber linked to Kevin Roose’s article, where Kevin glossed over the points others had devoted entire articles to and put forth a different explanation: that Jeff Bezos had used this announcement to influence legislators towards favorable regulation regarding drones at the risk of angering their constituents who — given the widespread adulation Amazon has received since unveiling this delivery plan — have taken quite a liking to these little aircrafts.

When Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post earlier this year, many speculated as to his motives. By far and away the most interesting reason I saw some put forth was in the regulatory influence this purchase would give Jeff Bezos and, by extension, his company Amazon. If true, the drone fanfare Bezos enabled makes for an especially interesting event given the influence he wields with the capital’s hometown newspaper, regardless of whether or not Amazon ultimately delivers on this project or not.

Many have said this before, but I will say it again: Jeff Bezos is a fascinating man. In the coming weeks and months as Jeff Bezos continues to navigate political channels and potentially exert greater influence in the political sector by making use of his station as owner of the world’s most popular retailer and The Washington Post both, I can’t wait to see what he decides to advocate. A unique combination for sure, and thus an intriguing one as well. Drones now, but what next? Bezos for President? This definitely won’t be the end of this topic: Amazon has a long and costly road ahead of it mired in legislation, to name just one obstacle barring its entrance into the market, and fickle emotions of the masses. It is, however, inarguably an intriguing start, and perhaps indicative of Jeff Bezos’s future plans.