Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged Amazon

How brand loyalty will eventually bite you

amazon-com-logo

I’m an enthusiastic Amazon, Apple, Uber, and Google user because they make my life easier. I don’t think twice before upping my Prime membership. In fact, I like these companies so much, I’ve even willing to pay a little extra for the convenience they offer.

But obsessive brand loyalty will ultimately hurt us, argue two ivy-league economists for USA Today. “Each of us can do our part to make sure Amazon and others never get to the point of ubiquitous domination. It might introduce a bit of hassle and inconvenience into your life, but only a tiny bit. But by taking on this challenge, you’ll be doing the job that antitrust authorities, in an ideal world, might take care of on our behalf – ensuring that consumers and workers, rather than the owners of capital and algorithms – get a piece of the surplus that’s created by new business ideas.”

Make no mistake, I’m a proud American capitalist. But I like it even more when companies compete for my business. “Think about those credit card teasers we all get,” the authors add. “As long as we keep businesses thinking they need to chase after us to try to lock us in, they’ll keep on handing us value rather than using it to pad their bottom line.”

If you agree, consider shopping with competing companies and platforms from time to time to keep your favorite companies on their toes, hungry for your business, and willing to let you keep a greater share of the value.

5 things I haven’t shared until now

echo-dot-black-back-on

I’m always writing down blog ideas. At the time of writing, I have 535 unpublished saved drafts. Most of these will never see the light of day. But some of them are worth sharing. In an effort to whittle that number down as fast as humanly possible, here are five things that have crossed my mind recently: Continue reading…

Either/or: How using the Internet affects our lives

Wired

Andrew White/WIRED

Ev Williams believes the internet is “a giant machine designed to give people what they want.” In a speech reported by Wired, the co-inventor of Blogger and Twitter added, “We often think the internet enables us to do new things, but people just want to do the same things.”

For instance, we want to socialize, entertain ourselves, learn, and make work easier. The internet does all four better than any other convenience of the last century.

It does this in two ways, Williams explains. “Big hits on the internet (think Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon) are masters at making things fast and not making people think… But the internet is not a utopian world. It’s like a lot of other technological revolutions.”  Continue reading…

Why everyone should embrace frugality

Warner Bros. / Blake Snow

Warner Bros. / Blake Snow

My stomach turns anytime I witness waste, lavishness, or squandering. I smile whenever I see thrift, frugality, or resourcefulness. (See also: The difference between cheap and frugal)

In fact, the latter is a life-long pursuit of mine: To be resourceful in everything I do, including my personal and business endeavorers.

Which is why I relate to Amazon’s leadership principle on frugality, explained like this Continue reading…

What it’s like to work an Amazon warehouse

Amazon

Amazon

This is good, embedded journalism about “the everything store” from which my family buys a sizable portion of merchandise:

There have always been rubbish jobs. Ian Brinkley, the director of the Work Foundation, calls Amazon’s employment practices “old wine in new bottles”. Restaurants and kebab shops have done the same sort of thing for years. But Amazon is not a kebab shop. It’s the future. Which may or may not be something to think about as you click “add to basket”.

I’ll think about it, but I’ll still click. I can honestly say Amazon has improved my life over the last decade. Whatever long-term cost I may end up paying for the cut-rate convenience is too murky to fear. At least right now.

See also: Amazon looks to the future

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Four more reasons to love Amazon

amazon-shippingAmazon has been my favorite store (and website) for nearly a decade.

As I’ve said many times before, they are the greatest store known to man. They have saved me thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time spent shopping. They do unto customers as they would do unto themselves. They are my movie store. My book store. My music store that auto syncs with iTunes. They are a treasure trove of user data, helping me reach for products that are consumer approved and well rated so I get burned less often. They ship free and often return free.

Plus it’s just fun getting brown cardboard boxes wrapped up in shipping tape. Heck, their boxes even have a smile on them. For that, I unabashedly love Amazon.

And then they go and do something like this, as if I needed any more reason to shout my love for them from the rooftops with free word of mouth advertising: Continue reading…

Reason no. 629 I love Amazon

“There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.”—Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based Amazon.com, now going on seven consecutive years as my favorite website.

I can’t stop listening to this album

black ghosts when animals stare

It’s called When Animals Stare by The Black Ghosts. It’s like Black Keys + Band of Skulls + Magnet. Which is awesome. And it doesn’t fade halfway through like most albums. Double Awesome.

Thanks for sharing, David.

See also:

I was wrong when I wrote this.

kindle 3gA year and a half ago, I ignorantly called e-readers The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Today, it is I who stands naked before you.

To be fair, I still buy printed books. But only because I’m a cheap skate and I like being able to pass my favorite books on to friends and family—can’t do that with my Kindle.

That said, e-readers are a great way to own hundreds of classics for free, not to mention the occasional contemporary book bought on discount. Not only that, but Kindle is a wonderful way to read literature.

New prediction: E-readers, will in fact, replace the majority of books (but not all, they will stay niche like pencils).