If my experience is at all typical of other consumers, I would guess that Amazon's Prime strategy is central to its whole attempt to conquer worldwide retailing and therefore that amazing delivery capacity lies at its heart, whether instantly via things such as video streaming or highly expedited in the case of tangible products.
Now Amazon could continue to rest comfortably upon its existing accomplishments by which it has used third-party delivery services to achieve a big part of its goals. But it is not. Indeed, it is spending huge sums of money to build massive warehousing facilities all over the place in support of a long-term plan to achieve super-fast delivery. And, in doing so, it has abandoned its former (and highly effective) strategy of trying to avoid physical "presence" in the various states in order to avoid having to hold back sales/use taxes from its customers.
So, fanciful or not in their present state of technological development and in the present state of legal and regulatory tangles that might arise, drones of the type shown in Amazon's promotional materials can hardly be called a simple marketing ploy to divert attention from some otherwise critical publicity affecting Amazon or its founder. The huge benefits to Amazon as a universal retailer that might from such a delivery mechanism are stupendous and obvious. If it should prove unfeasible to gain these benefits owing to technological limitations, that is one thing. If regulators should attempt to freeze delivery mechanisms to current forms and bar new ones such as drones, that is yet another thing. Such barriers may prove insuperable and cause the effort to fail. But to accuse Amazon of not being ready, willing, and able to devote even vast resources to the potential use of drones as part of its broader strategy - and instead to be using this as a mere publicity stunt - is, in my view, to miss the obvious. Amazon has a long-term goal of becoming the primary shopping source for millions of consumers across a broad range of products. It wants to leverage technology in ways that help remove the physical-presence advantage used by traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. If it can do so by building vast warehouses and then finding a magic way of delivering products to consumers in ways that better what they can do by visiting the local retail store, why not go for it. And not just go for it but really go for it, with a massive investment of time, energy, and capital with the long-term view of using this strategy to achieve potential exponential growth over competitors.
Whatever else this is, it cannot be mere vaporware. The fact that its announcement may have been accompanied by conventional marketing hype and by what may have even been a cynical deal with news outlets to agree to promote it on a big shopping day only confirms the seriousness of the effort, in my view. People like to get excited about exciting possibilities. Steve Jobs knew that and his way of presenting has become legendary. Mr. Bezos has some of that same flair and, when combined with adept entrepreneurial skills, stands to make an amazing mark in the annals of commerce. He may win in the end or he may lose. But he is going for the big win and he is doing it with flair.
You may like what Amazon is doing or you may hate it but it can't be denied that it is bold, daring, and very real. The author here misses it altogether in suggesting otherwise.
I am unclear on why not, exactly? 4-5 years before it appears, with the obvious possibility that it never does for regulatory reasons, technology reasons....
At this point I wouldn't call it vaporware, its not that far along.
It is still a fantasy. A nice fantasy. I loved the idea. but, for now, just a fantasy.
Check back in 4-5 years (or 5-10 years?) when something has actually been delivered to the market, and lets have a glass of whiskey and be amazed at the futuristic technology.
Organising something like this in a controlled area like a campus must be a few orders of magnitude simpler than organising something like this across the US.
it is a fantastic use of technology, I genuinely hope amazon manages to deliver.
Not necessarily. When a new address comes up, a human operator might takes a look at a satellite image of the address and give the drone an appropriate location to land on the property. That data would then be stored. 15 seconds with a human, one time only, is all it would take to make this easy in most neighborhoods.
What about navigating TFRs? Class B airspace? What about failures of the rotors whilst flying over heavily populated areas? Will these things be equipped with TCAS to avoid oncoming traffic? What happens if the path-finding algorithm to get from Amazon's warehouse to your house goes batshit insane and flies it in the approach path to LAX? Who files the flight plan for each of these things?
To quote Steve Yegge, "people will die... if it's YOU... you're going to be really pissed off." 
The post office.
Granted the ability to deliver directly to homes may face years of legal issues, like self-driving cars. However, there are plenty of problems that can be solved today by current technology, or products that are 12-24 months out, where you don't need FAA approval, like in agriculture.
Most of the technology to do this is in place now. I won't try to argue that the current generation technology is actually cost-effective for drone delivery, but flight control, navigation, collision avoidance, etc., all exist in some form now. A hexacopter has some robustness (it can be designed to still fly with a single motor failure).
Most of the hurdles now are regulatory and economic. I don't know if those can be effectively surmounted, but if anyone can do it, I'm sure Amazon can.
Five years is an _eternity_ in Internet Time.
It's taken us 20 years from Amazon coming online to Internet sales eclipsing retail holiday sales (which I believe is projected for this year.)
> so small as "free" 2-day shipping
Amazon is the king of shipping speed, but some aren't too far behind.
I think this is an effective solution to getting a notoriously slow agency to move on an item. No one wants to be seen as stopping innovation, not even the FAA.
That has been my experience. I don't deal with them directly, but we have people on our team who work closely with them when it comes to unmanned aircraft.
The FAA has a comprehensive publication about UAVs:
They might be the go to supplier for commercial drones in the not to distant future, so when they work with the FAA to get them approved (which i'm sure they're doing), i'd bet they are keeping alternative applications very closely in mind.
Drones as a Service.
Manually but remotely piloted aircraft (RC planes) are still a huge hobby and the FAA does not currently care how automated the flight is, only that it is noncommercial and that you can see the aircraft from the controls. It's doubtful that the FAA would amend these rules rather than create a separate category for unattended commercial flight.
Anyway, this is probably a field rich with patents and amazon with their acquisition of kiva robotics and their attraction as an employer in this field with this PR, will grab quite a few patents and make it quite hard for other companies to compete.
Source: I worked for FedEx Smartpost/Ground IT for a few years. It was absolutely terrible.
I'd believe that it's intentionally out there to put quiet pressure on the FAA to lighten its regulations. I could even see it being run to distract from the Mother Jones-esque pieces about how terrible it is to be a seasonal employee at an Amazon Warehouse.
But this being a reaction to the Bezos book? That seems like a bit much.
He told me: Your reaction to the laugh is healthy. You should be scared of this guy. He can't get enough power. When I answered an online quiz "11 reasons your boss may be a psychopath" (or something like that) i gave him 10 1/2 out of 11.
I'm sorry, what Google "innovations" are you referring to here?
To me, regardless of the truth, being "penny-pinching" given Amazon's razor thin margins seems like a good trait for the CEO.
I'm making a point to shop locally now. I've already seen what supporting Walmart has done to our country.
Have you ever shopped there? Or do you just repeat what you read all the time? Wall mart typically only exists in rural poor areas, and I doubt a drive-by HN commenter has any sense of proportion on the real issues at play. Wall-mart migh mean more competition for mom & pop stores, but they also bring reliable and affordable access to otherwise unaffordable or trans-port prohibitive goods and services to people that don't have the wallet or the access to shop at whole foods or a boutique coffee shop that charges $5/cup. The reality is that even for successful stores such as these, the owners are absent, the employees make non-living wages (corrected for rent), and the extant competitors are out of business or severely harmed. Think of all the gentrification in the mission in the past 15 years...all of those (poor) people are more fucked by hipsters and their fancy shit than anyone ever was by Walmart.
Here in Canada, Walmart is pretty much in every city, regardless of income. The only place Walmarts don't exist is in areas where the population is too sparse, or rent is too high (e.g. downtown Toronto).
I find it hard to believe Walmart is only "in rural poor areas", unless their position is radically different in the States.
Living in Seattle, it is a half-hour drive to the nearest Walmart (there isn't one in Seattle, you have to go to Renton to find one.) Living in Philadelphia it was about the same. Back at my parents home, deep in central PA (aka, "Pennsyltuckey"), there were three Walmarts within 15 minutes. Medium/large sized rural towns like York PA can get two or more Walmarts. However even when a town starts to get as large as Harrisburg, access to Walmarts starts dropping.
If Walmarts were common in cities, then urban food deserts would not be a thing in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert
Walmarts don't exist in places where property values are high, as a means of keeping costs low.
> If Walmarts were common in cities, then urban food deserts would not be a thing in the US
Well, no; even if they had no effect on other existing businesses, regular Walmarts would have no effect on food deserts, as they don't carry fresh food. Super Walmarts do, but those are even bigger stores, and even less likely anywhere with significant real estate costs.
But, even if we consider big box food store could well -- through competitive pressure on already marginal smaller stores -- increase the average distance/time for urban residents to reach affordable, healthy food.
Property value is definitely why Walmart (particularly Super Walmarts) doesn't move into cities. Their deal is large sprawling buildings with even larger sprawling parking lots, that isn't the sort of thing that you stick into a city. They don't seem keen on trying the "multilevel, compact, with a parking garage" or "underground complex" sort of form factor that other stores successfully employ inside of cities. I suspect this is because their margins are too tight for even that (and that form factor probably discourages buying in the sort of volume that their preferred store design encourages).
One way or the other, the Walmart:people ratio seems to be far lower in cities than in towns and suburbs. If Seattle had the same Walmart density as York PA, it would have over 30 Walmarts. Walmarts are practically the Starbucks of small-town America. (Briefly sampling a few towns in PA, it seems like for ever Walmart you can expect about two Starbucks. That's actually way fewer Starbucks than I expected, I suspect Google Maps isn't being honest here...)
In reality, it's about the same as you describe in Canada. They're not opening stores in dinky towns of 500 people, and they're not buying expensive premium real estate, but they're almost every where between those extremes.
They tried to put a Walmart downtown a few years ago ~2008, and they are currently trying to get approval for a Walmart in a different location that's would be on the edge of the 'official' boundaries of the downtown core.
Hell, just considering regular office workers, where are you going to go to pick up new diapers in the middle of the night when your kid wakes you up screaming, following a logistics failure? Without Walmarts, the only realistic option for late-night shopping is the local 7-11.
This is factually wrong. Walmart (note the spelling) follows suburbs and population centers. They may have been mostly rural one or two decades ago, but they are now most likely to be found near an intersection of freeways within 10 miles of a downtown. See http://bl.ocks.org/mbostock/4330486 for a map.
As for the rest of your screed... it's possible to be down on Walmart AND Whole Foods at the same time.
I have a question for you: how can you be actively evasive -- care to demonstrate by not actually answering my question? ;)
As to your last point, I am not proving witty enough to abide by your request in an amusing manner, so I will simply address your question: it is completely possible to avoid assigning blame with the active. A classic example would be, "They say...". Or compare the active "Someone made a mistake" with the passive "Mistakes were made by Steve."
This is just absolutely, unequivocally not true, unless your definition of "rural" and "poor" includes urban centers of cities with tens of thousands of citizens with median incomes ranging from impoverished to affluent, especially in the south.
Walmart comes in and destroys the mom&pop operations who are less pricey than "whole foods or a boutique coffee shop that charge $5/cup" but can't compete with the cheap, shabby crap made by wage-slaves in third-world sweatshops that Walmart brings in.
Your post is very San Francisco-centric. I don't think you understand or have seen what it's like to live elsewhere. "Hipsters" aren't a "problem" anywhere else I've been, anyway.
They import and sell cheap shit designed to break and be replaced and disguise it as value by citing low prices.
Is it ok for me to criticise now?
Given people better prices/more choices? I really don't get this anti-walmart sentiment everywhere.
Also, those better prices are due to the fact that Walmart's buying power means that they tell the supplier how much they will pay for the item, and leave it to the supplier to figure out how they can manufacture it and still make a profit. You can imagine the corners the supplier needs to cut to make that happen.
Besides what do I care if my dollar goes to some stranger down the street, in another state, or in another country? They are all human beings I don't know, and I don't particularly care about the welfare of any more than the other.
>Also, those better prices are due to the fact that Walmart's buying power means that they tell the supplier how much they will pay for the item, and leave it to the supplier to figure out how they can manufacture it and still make a profit. You can imagine the corners the supplier needs to cut to make that happen.
A pressure to be more efficient and decrease prices is a good thing. They would try to cut corners anyways, and lower prices might arguably make up for it.
What cooperation, exactly? Malaysian children being forced (perhaps not in the physical sense, but certainly in the economic sense) to work 13 hours/day for less than 1 USD so that Target can sell Kathy Lee Gifford's branded sweaters for $15? Is that really the world you want to live in? There is no cooperation here, it is exploitation pure and simple.
> [W]hat do I care if my dollar goes to some stranger down the street
Well, first of all, he lives in your neighborhood. If he is economically secure, it is less likely he will break into your house and steal your TV.
> A pressure to be more efficient and decrease prices is a good thing. They would try to cut corners anyways, and lower prices might arguably make up for it.
Great! So we have shoddily constructed, shitty products that are not meant to last more than a few months anyway, but that we believe are cheaper because the marketing machine told us that we saved 47 cents on the purchase of $foo_widget?
Real society has real people in it, not robotic automata that always act perfectly economically rationally and conform to some sort of capitalist fantasy.
And you think the worker would be better off if you didn't buy it? No they'd just be unemployed or employed at a worse job. I'm all for spreading the wealth generated by the economy more fairly, but simply removing trade doesn't actually make anyone better off.
>Well, first of all, he lives in your neighborhood. If he is economically secure, it is less likely he will break into your house and steal your TV.
The money you lose by buying more expensive local products, plus the the probability that the small amount of your money that actually goes to a local worker will make him less likely to rob, times the probability that he would rob your house specifically...
Even with absurd estimates of how likely that is, it's still cheaper just to spend the money you save on insurance than what you would gain from slightly reducing the risk of robbery.
>Great! So we have shoddily constructed, shitty products that are not meant to last more than a few months anyway, but that we believe are cheaper because the marketing machine told us that we saved 47 cents on the purchase of $foo_widget?
What are you referring to that has been reduced in quality so much it actually costs more in the long run (especially things where this is done without the consumer's knowledge or choice to buy higher quality elsewhere.)? And can you actually attribute that to Walmart specifically, and it wouldn't have happened anyways? Or even just people making irrational purchasing decisions or just having a high time preference?
As a matter of fact, I do. The world is littered with suffering due to Western economic expansion (exploitation). For evidence, see the Banana Republics  generated in Latin America due to large fruit producers invading under the banner of "this is better for you." Globalization has an extraordinary human cost.
> The money you lose by buying more expensive local products, plus the the probability that the small amount of your money that actually goes to a local worker will make him less likely to rob, times the probability that he would rob your house specifically...
> Even with absurd estimates of how likely that is, it's still cheaper just to spend the money you save on insurance than what you would gain from slightly reducing the risk of robbery.
Did you even look at the artifact that I submitted? 73% of the money you spend locally stays in the community, whereas 43% stays in the community if you shop big-box. Furthermore, there is more than one "guy down the street." If everyone in your neighborhood is now suddenly suffering due to money leaving the community, what does that do to your probability model?
> What are you referring to that has been reduced in quality so much it actually costs more in the long run (especially things where this is done without the consumer's knowledge or choice to buy higher quality elsewhere.)? And can you actually attribute that to Walmart specifically, and it wouldn't have happened anyways? Or even just people making irrational purchasing decisions or just having a high time preference?
Have you been to a Walmart/Kmart/Target lately? What product have you picked up there recently and thought, "Yeah, this should hold up for a while, thank goodness I saved $2.18 on it!"
Additionally, if you have a high time preference, you should definitely not shop at Walmart. Walmart is responding to competitive pressure by "implementing deep cuts in labor hours at the company’s US stores, setting in motion a "vicious circle" of understaffing, operational miscues, and lost sales that is diminishing the company’s long-term value." 
I don't know about you, but wandering around a 100k square foot building with nobody to help in sight sounds like a serious waste of time to me.
Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon, not walmart.
Why do we accept that modern warfare can be fought almost entirely with drones (libya?) but when it comes to civilian applications it's a fairy tail publicity stunt?
I think bezos wants to turn a profit, and lowering delivery costs, and giving faster service might only make his company that much more valuable. I don't doubt for a second that this is a genuine effort.
They're born out of the hobbyist RC scene and were enabled by Chinese investment in cheap RC parts development.
First of all, I have no idea why people insist on calling UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) drones. It's a stupid term. Secondly, UAVs are much much much older than 2003.
The United States was flying UAVs in the friggin 60's
I think it originates with the de Havilland Queen Bee of the late 1930s, a radio-controlled conversion of the Tiger Moth trainer. With metalwork replaced by wooden components on account of their expected short lifespans, as they were used for gunnery training.
Nothing new under the Sun!
The precise variant was BGM-34 and was intended for attacking enemy air defences ( 'Wild Weasel' missions in the parlance of the day, now 'Lethal SEAD' ).
Edit: found a picture. '34A foreground, '34B rear.
There's no way in the world these tiny drones can fly 10 miles each way, carry 5lbs of payload, deliver the package perfectly on the driveway/doorstep, and cost low enough to not be a financial nightmare. That's not even accounting for dealing with FAA, weather issues, safety issues.
There will need to be a few technological revolutions before it works. #1 - battery technology. Current batteries just can't handle long enough flights.
Today, there are prototypes that cost $2000, can carry well over 2kg (high definition cameras and such), and have a twenty miles range (that's 40 miles worth of "fuel"). As for perfect delivery… until you can miniaturize self-driving car technology, you can always have a human pilot manually landing the thing and take off. 30 seconds of human work for a small delivery, that's not too bad.
On the other hand, to you, I am such a random guy. So don't trust me. I may not be as knowledgeable as I say, I may have misreported some key facts, I may even be lying to your face (I swear I don't, but you will never know). On the other hand…
…Do not ever presume to know how much I should know from a couple short comments. It's just not enough to tell you what I know, let alone how I think I know it.
It's a cool idea, but imagine a drone hitting a wire and crashing into a car on the opposite lane. It will kill.
If this idea is going to work at all (and that's a big if) these things were always going to have to fly over roads and land in driveways.
I think an all-electric fixed wing/helicopter hybridization would make more sense. VTOL is probably only strictly required at the consumer end, on the Amazon side they could do CTOL and cruise on the same wings.
I believe that on airplanes they often solve the problem of internal combustion engines being much more efficient in a narrow RPM band (with the constraint that transmissions tend to be heavy) by using a constant speed propeller that spins at the optimal speed of the engine, and adjusts the blade pitch to adjust the speed of the vehicle.
I don't know if it would work on a VTOL type vehicle or not, but we've been using internal combustion engines for a while, and have reasonable work-arounds for many of their shortcomings.
My understanding is that this simplification is more or less the entire point of quad-rotors, since otherwise a single big rotor would be much more efficient.
I don't know the answers to those questions; I'm just saying, if range is the problem there are solutions that don't involve breakthroughs in battery technology.
TS;WM (Too Short, Want More): The top-and-tail rotor design relies on varying pitch on the individual blades of the top rotor at different points in their rotation (rather than varying speed on separate rotors) for translation, varying pitch (the baseline/average pitch of all blades throughout rotation) of the main rotor for lift, and pitch of the tail rotor for rotation.
Quad/octorotor designs get all of that by just vary rotor speed without the additional machinery needed to vary blade pitch, which makes the vastly easier to build at small scale.
Call me a Luddite but I will be perfectly happy to never see this become a reality.
Why is their idea unviable? Because they have no proof?
Well you certainly proved how unviable the idea is with your lack of proof.
Quite frankly, when it comes to Bezos vs "ye", I have to say that the billionaire owner of one of the most successful stores in our world is SLIGHTLY more credible than "ye", random commenter who has no domain experience and no evidence for literally a single word they said.
I mean honestly, in a conversation about credibility and evidence, you thought providing neither makes for a good argument?
Give me a break. There are a lot of technical issues to drones that should be evident to most people, no matter "who they are". I'm at a loss to understand why you think they shouldn't be able to voice that.
Proof is usually a good start, yeah.
WTF is this? I'd love to see these things flying in SF bay (windspeed:25 knts) or SoCal during the Santa Anas (30kts sustained). That doesn't mean its likely to happen with a quick and dirty solution, at least on the tech side. But who knows, maybe on the people-org side you can have a real-time delivery window that just side-steps the problem. But the appeal to "authority" here is just BS and gets in the way of a real discussion. Synchophants vs Naysayers is not a debate.
This is a very obvious PR move to get more clicks on a major shopping week and squelch a developing news story about Amazon's labor practices in the UK.
Amazon may well deliver books to me with a mini-helicopter in 2018. But they absolutely will sell more stuff due to the Prime Air attention, and will slow down the momentum on negative press that might send some holiday shoppers elsewhere. I find the idea that a billionaire owner of THE premier ecommerce business would come up with such a plan very credible.
Thanks for the heads up, I'll know to avoid in future.
This is no different than the "slate" announcement by Microsoft and HP at CES 2010, which was widely panned and never produced any actual products for sale. But for a short time, it put MS in all the news stories about the iPad.
The technology is so new, and has yet to get to it's pinnacle. Bezos properly address the element that is missing, "redundancy". Whether you like it or not, these things will be flying above your head within 3 years. Whether Amazon is the one to do it? You think it's going to be UPS, FedEx, or USPS? My money is on Amazon.
$20 says that if this ever happens in the real world, the delivery vehicles are mechanically very different from what's shown in the promo video.
I fail to imagine at what stage Amazon drone become cheaper considering the reliability of drone and the complexity of navigating a dense urban environment (I assume it is to be used there) Also, if it can be done cheaply enough, takeaways will eventually use the same system. I wonder how that will scale ...
The only reason it was "hanging" in the Prime Air video was for PR fluff.
Fixed wing transport is still amazingly good at cargo carrying, using "holds" in their monocoques.
The battery and equipment are going to be much more expensive, but I believe they can probably get it to be cheaper than a human delivery person.
I subscribe to the notion that this particular stunt was both, technology investigation and PR piece. It sets Amazon apart from Walmart as "new technology" which carries a bit of cachet with the buying public, and there are some very real and interesting questions that can be informed by building a prototype system (which refers back to our discussion a while ago about actually doing something to figure out how hard it is really) and since it is so far out all it does is cause worry on the part of competitors.
Seems like a reasonable strategy to me.
 A blog post arguing some technology demo is a PR stunt
Secondly, how will it work out for Amazon, in its coveted "long-run," if it erodes public trust by showing something it doesn't really think will ship? I think showing it in public gives them an onus to execute. As others have mentioned, it also creates an onus for the FAA to take this challenge seriously and to accelerate its thinking about this new direction.
We have a lot of blog posts, and I don't think they're meant to represent the views of the company.
An organisation can very effectively dictate the precise timing of a story's running using tools such as an embargo (which determines the opening of the publishing window) and pre-arranged release of the story to other media (which tells an outlet with an exclusive that they should be publishing before this time). So a conversation along the lines of "We've got this great story, would you treat it properly if we gave it to you on 1 December, ahead of when it hits the wires at 8am on 2 December?" does the trick nicely.
The 60 Minutes audience is absolutely part of the Amazon customer base - if not currently, they're in the crosshairs. Amazon explained in the segment that part of their mission is to sell everything - to everyone. And they also got their company name on the front page of every major news site. I expect they were part of most morning "news" shows, and will be mentioned in many evening news broadcasts tonight. Whether people watched 60 minutes or not - it's likely that a huge percentage of potential American shoppers saw the Amazon name mentioned someplace because of that story.
However, its a lot to do with the egos of these CEOs, and what not. You and I may not care how nice or horrible these people may or may not be, but the people getting the negativity do. They dont like the idea that the public think they are not very nice, or what ever.
So, I'd suggest its possible its more about individual ego, than sales. Sales is a convenient excuse.
You can't claim that Amazon destroyed the credibility of CBS and at the same time claim that one of their top anchors regularly gives "soft-ball" interviews. Well, to be honest you can, but you'll sound like an idiot.
Google is probably more threatening to Amazon than any other company, and they have a clear interest in attacking physical good delivery in a manner that is deflationary relative to Amazon - almost certainly by using self-driving vehicles to provide local delivery to existing retailers, gaining access to the inventory databases in the process.
Google likes to do PR stunts to project an image of futuristic technological leadership. It looks like they have a competitor.
Guess this is the story that's going to rack up page views for at least the beginning of the week.
This is a fairly one-sided assessment of the situation. CBS and 60 Minutes benefit as much from the piece airing on the eve of Black Monday as Amazon, arguably more so, since Amazon needs little advertisement for its services.
I watched the piece and frankly found it to be somewhat of a puff-piece as well (Amazon was given too much credit in my opinion for being customer-centric). However, 60 Minutes caters to a broader audience than most of us, so they aren't going to get into pricing theory or the merits of Amazon S3. They describe the company to people as if it is the first time they've ever gotten a glimpse inside the website, because many people know little about it or its history.
60 Minutes almost always times its pieces to coincide with related events, and I think it makes the stories more interesting because of it.
Edit: If the goal of the piece was in fact to conjure up free positive publicity for Amazon I have to believe it worked. Last night my FB news feed was a flurry with people posting their love of Amazon and how they were now going to be loyal customers because "Amazon puts the customer first."
Next thing people will be shocked that Oprah is paid to endorse products.
Most brilliant PR move ever. #suckers
But I am a little shocked that this cool little announcement has brought Amazon's critics out of the woodwork. IMO, if you try to ride the coattails of other things getting press just to get your very negative views out, you are just as bad as the entity you are criticizing. Congratulations, a few more people read your negative opinion of Amazon and its founder than would have had you not tied it into the drone story. Nearly all of them will still be shopping on Amazon this Christmas.
Kudos to Amazon PR. Not so much to 60 Minutes.
Got the Reddit treatment here:
Reminds me a bit of: http://xkcd.com/1287/
People who want to be ornery will find reasons to act ornery.
Knock a drone down, "win" a prize is going to appeal to percentage of the population.
Most Amazon orders aren't expensive things. Going to jail for a few years for hijacking an aircraft just isn't worth it, when you can just wait for the package to be delivered and steal it from someone's doorstep. Even then, probably not worth it.
I would have been more impressed if he showed off a fleet of electric/autonomous self driven deliver robot trucks, because that is more realistic to amazon.
Some of these SV companies are better than others at this kind of thing. Amazon, Google, and Apple have this ability to make otherwise skeptical journalists just turn their brains off...Google's "death stunt" was the cover of Newsweek for god's sake.