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CNBC reports on an interview with Tim Armstrong, an internet entrepreneur and the former CEO of AOL, as well as ad chief at Google, in which he says that "Nike’s decision to stop selling merchandise to Amazon is just the 'tip of the iceberg' of brands opting to go directly to consumers."

It was just a week or so ago that Nike said it would halt a two-year experiment selling on Amazon; it had decided to sell a limited assortment there in exchange for Amazon promising to do a better job policing counterfeits.

Armstrong argues that "brands are often fearful that by partnering with Amazon they will lose control over how they’re represented on the site," and says that "the direct-to-consumer movement will be the replacement for the retail issues and commerce issues that are going on because of the platforms … if they have the option to go direct, they are going to go direct."
KC's View:
I'm a little skeptical about this, and not just because Armstrong is making the comments as he launches a company called dtx, which - wait for it - looks to help brands disrupt the current e-commerce model. (Translation: Armstrong has a dog in this hunt.)

I'm not sure that Amazon is in any immediate danger - there are a lot of us who gravitate to Amazon because it has an organizing functionality. Y'know, just like a store … but a modern version.

That said, the AOL model is instructive. AOL was successful in the early days of the internet because it had an organizing functionalist for many of us who were just learning about it and becoming comfortable with it. But at a certain point, we didn't need it anymore.

That could happen to Amazon. But keep in mind that Amazon is built on a foundation of innovation that rejects complacency and insistently looks to make sure that we will continue to need it.