retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg Business Week has a piece about Jeff Bezos' decision to invest $5 million in a six-year-old news start-up called Business Insider, and how it reflects his belief in the disruptive influences affecting traditional business models.

"Bezos’s investment in the scrappy news site is perfectly aligned with his overall philosophy about changes in the media business," Bloomberg Business Week writes. "He believes the intermediary layers or 'gatekeepers' of traditional media are being threatened by tectonic shifts in the economics of content creation and distribution, and Amazon is investing heavily to accelerate the transition and profit from it. It’s allowing authors to publish their own books directly to the Kindle, as well as funding its own television shows through its Amazon Studios division ... Bezos clearly believes the same transitions are happening in the new business. He’s personally a fan of e-mail newsletters such as Very Short List, a daily assortment of cultural tidbits from the Web, and Cool Tools, a compendium of technology tips and product reviews written by Kevin Kelly, a founding editor of Wired. Both e-mails are short, well written, and are delivered right to readers via e-mail with minimal fuss and no expense. Internally, Amazon has even experimented with its own simple, editorially crafted newsletters that would be e-mailed directly to customers."
And the piece quotes a recent Bezos shareholder letter, in which he observed that even “well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation."
KC's View:
Gatekeepers are irrelevant when everybody has a set of keys, a blueprint with all the secret and not-so-secret entrances, and an invitation to come on in.

I just wish Bezos wanted to invest in MNB. Maybe next year.