Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Things To Come

Amazon, the company not the river, bought Whole Foods last week. A simple enough concept: big fish eats little fish. It's the American Way. Okay, maybe it's really more the Capitalist Way, but you get the picture. To be honest, my reaction was muted compared to what I might have felt if Jeff Beezos had set his sights on Trader Joe's or Safeway. It will still be a while before I feel the full impact of this acquisition.
Or will it?
Around me, big companies are swallowing smaller companies at a rate that might cause some to swoon. I had to stop and inspect the back of an Xfinity customer care van parked on the street a few days ago just to admire all the various logos, trying to discern some sort of hierarchy: NBC, Universal, Comcast, Tad's Fish 'n' Chips. All a part corporate synergy. Walking into a fast food restaurant, one becomes almost instantly aware of the alliances. Is this a Coke or a Pepsi establishment? Franchise or chain? When was the last time those fries saw the sun?
My wife has a favorite Sylvester Stallone movie, not because of Sly necessarily, but she loves Demolition Man because of the franchise wars. Taco Bell was the only survivor. Hence, all restaurants are Taco Bell. Genius marketing from the Time Warner folks, who also happen to own HBO, TBS, DC Comics, and a host of other entertainment portals that deliver content to anyone who jacks in. Time Warner does not currently own Taco Bell.
Neither does Amazon.
A while ago, I mused about Disney eventually owning everything, and would't that be nice? The most obsequious customer service on the planet, and a steady stream of family friendly characters and attendant swag with immersive shops, parks and bunkers in which to enjoy said content and swag. What would that mean to Amazon's plans for world domination? Currently they have the market cornered on forty-one ounce bags of Skittles and will soon own controlling interest in the headwaters of the Kombucha. All of it delivered by drones.
Now I can start envisioning the scorched hellscape that will be left when the Disney droids battle the Amazon drones to the death. I just hope I can still get a Chalupa Supreme when the smoke clears.

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