Amazon flexes its muscle at Whole Foods
Amazon is moving fast on its acquisition of Whole Foods -- today the company started offering big discounts for Amazon Prime members in store, giving yet another reason to pay for its monthly subscription.
Not only are things like turkeys discounted to a few dollars, hundreds of other items in the company's "everyday" range like vegetables and chicken are now on a permanent price cut if you're a member of Amazon's subscription service.
It was always obvious that Amazon sees Whole Foods as the gateway to the rest of America where Amazon Prime already sees more than half of all US households using the service, but the pace here is impressive. I'm watching to see how long it takes Amazon to try re-imagine the entire concept, which I expect we'll see within 1-2 years.
What I wonder about most from this deal is what the end-point is here: at some point do these stores go all-Amazon-exclusive, where you need a subscription to even shop there? Or will we end up in a music streaming style stand-off where we can't get discounts anywhere that our subscriptions don't cover, and 'exclusive food items' are sold at specific chains?
Amazon is going to get a ton of great benefits out of this acquisition long term: an unprecedented amount of data that no grocery chain has ever collected on its customers and an opportunity to innovate within the supply chain of an existing brand.
There's a reason people suspect supermarkets might be in trouble: most existing brands aren't digitally savvy and don't know anything about their customers. The business is so low-marginthat there's not much space for innovation without justification, but Bezos has such deep pockets it doesn't matter how outlandish the concept is.
Twitter will revoke verification for rule breakers
In a move that made me ask out loud "why wasn't this the case already," Twitter today decided it will retroactively revoke verification for accounts that break rules, particularly for harassment. I mean, sure, good move, but maybe actually deal with the harassment problem first. I have a suspicion Twitter is close to killing the verification scheme, as it's more hassle than it's worth.
It's like Google Docs but for code
A new experiment from the very good coding tool Visual Studio Code lets developers work in the same project in real-time. There's been a bunch of these out there, but this actually looks legitimately useful: pair programming over long distances is, uh, impossible right now -- but this looks so well thought out.
Is Peter Thiel trying to break up Google?
Here's a secret: whenever a headline asks the reader a question like this the answer is almost always certainly yes (it's called Bertridge's Law). The too long, didn't read version of this is simple: Thiel doesn't really publicly come out against companies, instead he just funds companies who have opinions like his, like that time he killed Gawker, and now he's funding a group that wants to break Google apart.