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GeekWire reports that on "The Charlie Rose Show" last week, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked a bit about Amazon and its troubles:

"They make no money, Charlie,” Ballmer said. “In my world, you’re not a real business until you make some money. I have a hard time with businesses that don’t make money at some point … If you are worth $150 billion, eventually somebody thinks you’re going to make $15 billion pre tax. They make about zero, and there’s a big gap between zero and 15.”

Ballmer went on:

"One capability every business is expected to have is the capability to make money. It requires a certain kind of discipline, a certain kind of mindset. … As a businessman, if you ask me what I’m proud of, I’m proud of the fact that I made $250 billion under my watch as CEO.”
KC's View:
I think it is fair at this point in time to question Amazon's long-term financial strategy, especially if you are an investor in the company. I've always believed that the company needed to continue to invest in new products and services to keep its lead in the e-commerce sector, but it seems entirely legitimate to question whether management has gotten a little distracted (like, by the Fire Phone) and maybe a little arrogant.

But "not a real business"? That strikes me as patently absurd.