In case there was still any doubt, Amazon has pulled away from the pack and is now in a league of its own. The term "Amazon Effect," which was invented to describe Amazon's transformative impact on retailing, now applies to virtually every aspect of business competition.
After reporting second-quarter profits last week that were roughly double the expectations of Wall Street analysts, Amazon's stock soared 4 percent. Compare that to Facebook's debacle, which drove the stock down nearly 20 percent, erasing more than $110 billion in value, and it's easy to see why Amazon is the clear leader.
From my perspective, the key to Amazon's continually amazing performance is discipline. With Jeff Bezos at the helm, Amazon has remained steadfastly focused on providing its customers with experiences that are consistently superior to any of its competitors. Amazon knows how to keep its customers happy. Even after testifying to Congress, Mark Zuckerberg still seems clueless about the absolutely critical role of customer experience in modern business.
If you're not providing the best possible customer experiences across your enterprise, you aren't in the game. Amazon understands this. Facebook doesn't.
As technology leaders, we need to emulate the discipline shown by Amazon and keep our attention focused on providing the best possible customer experiences. Anything else is really a distraction.
Last week's market gyrations confirmed Amazon's growing dominance as a primal force driving the modern global economy. The Amazon Effect has spread from retail to every imaginable part of the competitive landscape. One of the reasons Rupert Murdoch is selling off chunks of his media empire is because he understands that he can no longer has the resources to compete effectively with companies like Amazon and Netflix.
I predict that Amazon and Netflix will continue growing their clout as creators of original content. Within years, Amazon and Netflix will be more like Disney - diversified ecosystems of content and entertainment offerings spanning an incredibly wide range of media platforms. AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner will seem pale in comparison to what happens next.
We're at an inflection point in history. The old giants have been replaced by new giants, and now the new giants are battling for leadership. The stakes are high, and the game is still in its early stages.
The unknown factor in this new landscape is China. What role will China play? It's hard to imagine that China will sit by idly while companies like Amazon and Netflix carve up the market. China has the scale and the energy to compete, but do its leaders have the vision?
Again, we're early in the game and it's too soon to tell. But my prediction is that Amazon and Netflix will discover their main competition is China. Google learned that lesson several years ago, and has all but given up competing directly in China.
We live in interesting times, and the real competition is just beginning to heat up. Are you focused on the customer experience? Is your enterprise ready to compete against Amazon?