retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Seattle Times has a story about Ring, the home security company that Amazon acquired earlier this year for $853 million, pointing out that it represents “an expansion of Amazon’s bet on smart-home technology, the proliferation of internet-enabled devices from microwaves to door locks and light bulbs. Amazon has tried to position Alexa, its voice software that inhabits its Echo devices and gadgets built by other companies, at the center of that universe.

“For Amazon, Ring adds home security to the retailer’s growing array of focus areas.”

One other interesting thing in the story…

Company founder Jamie Siminoff tells the Times that Amazon has been largely hands-off since the deal. “Amazon, Siminoff said, is “kind of leaving us alone,’ an approach that reflects the online retail and technology giant’s preference for decentralized teams, and its habit of giving relatively free rein to companies it’s acquired.” However, “the deal has given Ring more resources to put into product development, Siminoff said, including a neighborhood watch-like crowdsourcing app called Neighbors, which launched shortly after the Amazon deal.

“Siminoff said the software, which cost more to develop than most of Ring’s lineup of hardware, is an indication that the company’s focus on neighborhood safety goes beyond doorbells and cameras.”
KC's View:
Amazon may be hands-off, but never forget that its entry into the home security business also has enormous implications for how it delivers products to people. It is in the process, I think, of developing an evolved delivery infrastructure - maybe we could call it an ecosystem? - that could give it big advantages going forward.