Robert Scoble
My (at the time 14-year-old) son argued porn and censorship with a FCC Commissioner and people are up in arms that the President is talking with their kids? This country is just so idiotic sometimes. I guess they forgot what the last President was doing on 9/11. That is right, talking with school kids. Sigh.
Amen, Mr. Scoble, Amen. - Michael
It amazes at all of the lows people do to bring the President down. It's rather pathetic. - Minu Nianda
Heaven forbid anyone just step back and thinks people could be up to a couple good things, good grief. - Chris Lindhartsen
Sadly, I think that (general) America has forgotten that every society before us has crumbled, be it from war, poverty, starvation, political dispute every society has fallen. It's just a ticker now as to when we follow suit. - Adam
Please. I have no problem with our President talking to our kids. As long as I'm in the room as well in order to call his BS. No matter who the President is at the time. - Chris Kalaboukis
completely different - bush was reading to students - not pitching his agenda. read the paper the dept of education sent to the schools. and you liberals forget the last time a president spoke to school kids was in 91 when Bush Sr talked about staying off of drugs - and you liberals screamed and yelled that it was inappropriate. now its ok. i love the liberal hypocrisy. - Tony Kanzia
Chris: you sir are an idiot. You can do that at home. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Typical liberal - if you don't agree with them, then you're an idiot. What a shocking response. - Tony Kanzia
I took my son to see a Whitehouse and President I despised. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Chris, you think teachers are any less fallible? Do you accompany your children to school and sit with them throughout the day to call BS on things a teacher might say as well? - Andru Edwards
This is all so ridiculous. If you don't agree with what he's saying, teach them to be proud of that opportunity, teach them to listen to their President, and then talk to them about the things you don't agree with when they get home. Don't conservatives believe in family values any more? - Jesse Stay
Tony: I live this stuff. Have you taken your son to see a President you didn't like? I have. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Chris & Tony, thanks for being on hand to demonstrate the exact kind of intolerance that Robert is talking about. - Jeff Harbert
what i think got everyone up in arms was the curriuculm that went along w/ the president's speech. while this has since been taken down, people feel they are being told from the government what to teach their kids - Jonathan Jesse
E Pluribus Unum - "Out of one, many". Once the President is chosen, we all have to unite. We don't have to agree, but he is still the representative of this nation and we should respect, and be proud of that. - Jesse Stay
Tony how is Obama pitching his agenda to kids when he's simply telling them to stay in school? Give me a break. - Minu Nianda
I find it even more fantastic that parents don't think their kids can think for themselves. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Teaching our kids not to respect the President takes away that unity. If we don't agree, we should instead be sharing what we don't agree with, not removing the opportunity altogether. This is ridiculous! (note that I was saying the same thing to things the liberals were doing to Bush as well) - Jesse Stay
Jesse Stay- You hit the "nail on the head" so beautifully! - earl wallace
Complete idiots are people who think that their kids hearing a few words from ANYBODY are going to hold sway over the impact of their parents, their environment and ability to think freely. - suecosby
@tony i agree with you on most of the comment. the problem with the speech i had was the accompaning lessons, since removed from the d ept of educations website - Jonathan Jesse
You know, I just read the speech, and I don't see ANY political agenda in it, much less a liberal one. "And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself." Sounds pretty conservative to me. Read it here: - John Craft
Jesse Stay - Amen! - Minu Nianda
Jonathan: the "offending" lesson was what could you do to help the President. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
@jesse i don't think anyone has said anything about teaching their children to disrespect the president, just that they don't agree w/ what he says - Jonathan Jesse
Let's all join hands and recite the pledge of allegiance. Come on. I know you want to. - Sean Montgomery from iPhone
Jonathan: I disagreed greatly with what Bush did but I still took my son to see him and meet with his Deputy Press Secretary. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Jonathan I see people flat out telling their kids they can't listen to the President. That sounds like disrespect to me. - Jesse Stay
Maybe school SHOULD be about learning where other people are coming from. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
It is up to parents after school to teach them their own values. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
In Arizona, kids have to get permission slips to listen to the President. That's disrespectful to me. - Jesse Stay
Jesse: it is worse than disrespectful. Where were theywhen Bush spoke to kids? - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Jesse: yeah. Gotta have a permission slip to learn. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Let's see, how does it go? I pledge allegience to Robert Scoble...wait that's not it. - Sean Montgomery
Robert, you're absolutely right... but I can't help but wonder where the promises were from this administration on working across the aisle and having full transparency. I think this administration has provided the fanatical opposition with all the ammunition it needed to take situations like this and blow them up. Once again, I agree that all children should be able to hear the President speak without opposition. I just think this administration is blowing the PR front. - Douglas Karr
@robert i think the heart of the problem is what you stated "Parents should teach values" and i don't think that is happening whether political, religious or moral and too many people are relying on the school system to do so. - Jonathan Jesse
Helen Sventitsky- I just read Obama's speech and I don't think I could have put it any better' I do not detect any undercurrents or subliminal manipulation. I heard the same advice when I graduated from high school. - earl wallace
Robert - I'm a conservative but agree with your original point. POTUS should be able to speak to students. You have to acknowledge that if W. had tried to do the same thing (national satellite address) to students, liberals would've been just as outraged as many conservatives are now. - Paul Goldsmith
Paul: You're flat wrong. - Jeff Harbert
I think @Paul is correct, FWIW. - Kurt Starnes
Let's face it - there's a significant portion of this country's population that, if Obama gave a speech about puppies being cute, would launch into an apoplectic rage randomly spewing the words 'liberal' and 'socialist. - John Craft
Paul: you are wrong. Bush spoke to students and I don't remember anyone so angry. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Yeah...who is he to define cute. - Sean Montgomery
John Craft: lol - Minu Nianda
Really? Bush gave a national address to school kids? I honestly did not know that. - Paul Goldsmith
@robert, Bush 41 spoke to students in '91 and there was opposition from the Dems. - Kurt Starnes
Kurt: I will take your word on that. That is stupid too. - Robert Scoble from iPhone
This is an amazing opportunity. Until now it simply wasn't possible for a single President to speak to an *entire* nation of school kids. Until now it was only possible to do it in person on a school-by-school basis. When I was growing up it was an extreme privilege to have the President visit your school. We should be embracing that! I don't care if you agree with Politics or not. - Jesse Stay
Kurt: so, where will we be in eight years? - Robert Scoble from iPhone
Kurt: will we have a better country where kids are encouraged to learn and think critically or are they going to learn that politics is like sports? - Robert Scoble from iPhone
@Robert Watched a great documentary on text books and our kids are NOT encouraged to learn and think critically. They are misguided. That's one of the key downfalls with our education system... which is controlled by people trying to indoctrinate their own beliefs and avoid criticism from any extremes. - Douglas Karr
It's funny I've been so inured by the idiocy, venom & deception coming from the White House for the past 8 years I have a hard time even grokking there are people who don't view the new guy as a massive breath of transparent, humanistic fresh air. And also that a US president talking to our kids could be a bad thing. Altho the guys in this thread who disagree may not be idiots, generously I would at least characterize them as "Fox-addled". - Thom Kennon
@Robert - I'm with you on those thoughts re kids learning to think critically. I may not agree with Obama on many things, but I would encourage my Daughter (almost 11 y.o.) to listen to any of his speeches. I do think there is some hypocrisy on this school speech issue, though. FWIW. - Kurt Starnes
Just for the record, I think it's awesome that the President has the opportunity for a national address to students. Great opportunity for the President and children alike. - Douglas Karr
1991: "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," the New York Times quoted House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.). "And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'" Decent article on the history of these school speeches here: - Kurt Starnes
@Thom transparent? Like the close-door, one-sided bills that have been rammed through? Stop watching Fox OR MSNBC. Start reading - Douglas Karr
BTW, I wasn't following the Bush 41 school speech in '91, but would think the opposition to Obama is very likely much more heated than it was for Bush 41. - Kurt Starnes
Kurt: OK. So where will we be in eight years? Will your guy speak to school kids? - Robert Scoble from iPhone
@Robert - I don't have a guy or a party that represents me (See Jesse's sentiments). :-\ In an ideal world, Presidents would speak to kids apolitically and all parents would support such speeches. And I would ride off into the rainbow on my white unicorn. - Kurt Starnes
@Kurt @Robert Everyone should have the right to speak and be heard... what are we teaching our children through censorship of our very own President? Regardless of whether or not his speech is political, it should not be fought. He is OUR President and OUR childrens' President. PS: Robert... don't you mean in 3 1/2 years? ;) - Douglas Karr
I just had to laugh at the person who said Obama was transparent. Wow. Don't read much do you? Obama just made sure 8 months of Presidential White House visits will remain secret. How about those meetings with drug companies, huh? - Spencer
@Douglas - I generally agree with you. But, just as Obama has the right to give the speech, folks have the right not to listen, even though I think all should listen. Some conservatives seem to have missed the point that neither schools nor the WH require *mandatory* viewing! Folks still have a choice and this, to me, makes all of the protestations seem so silly. - Kurt Starnes
Scoble++ I wish I could fave this post. - Tanath
@Kurt we agree... and I also don't fall for the rainbows and unicorns. - Douglas Karr
In fairness, I think the ONLY real objections were over the slip that the president wanted children to tell him how they were going to help him. Most people don't like the idea of indoctrinating children. They didn't want their child coming home to harass them about why healthcare reform wouldn't pass, etc. This might be a paranoid nutter fear, but for all the political manipulation many parents are used to via their children. My children are constantly bringing home political notes about taxes, funding. - Jason Nunnelley
This whole debate is sorta silly. If you don't want your children indoctrinated, then listen what the man has to say then give them your opinion -- teach them the value of free speech which is to let all ideas out into the world and let the good ones stand. Taking your kid to the White House to se a President you hate? Makes perfect sense to me. - Dean Rodgers
Wait a second don't we spend years indoctrinating our kids on everything from how to eat properly to what sports team to follow? I guess it's just other people's indoctrination we don't want them exposed to? ;) - Eoghann Irving
Eoghann Irving, duh. :) - Jason Nunnelley
Eoghann, // I AM NOT COMPARING THE PRESIDENT TO THE KKK // But, how would you feel about your child attending a meeting where they taught that certain races were immoral, corrupt or otherwise less worthy. Sure, you could just explain that the bigot they listened to was wrong. But, children are impressionable. That's exactly why we work to brainwash... ahem, excuse me, train them young about things like pollution, recycling, civic responsibilities, etc. It's why schools have them to recite the pledge. - Jason Nunnelley
For the record, I'm looking forward to my children listening to the president. It will make for good dinner conversation. - Jason Nunnelley
My point is that sending someone to school and then complaining because they might be "indoctrinated" is a ludicrous position. Of course they will be indoctrinated. That's why we're sending them there! The objections to Obama's speech that I have seen are entirely party political and not motivated by any real concern for social or moral damage. - Eoghann Irving
Jason, FWIW I did attend a meeting that told me exactly that when I was about 11 at a local baptist church. There was a book and tape burning afterward. My mother was mortified when she came to pick me and my sister (9) up. Neither my sister nor I was 'impressionable' enough to take what we were told at face value, and we had a very lengthy conversation with my mom about what we thought... more... - FFing Enigma
Eoghann Irving, well sorry. I reserve the right to choose what indoctrination I subject my children to and I don't much care whether others think I'm backward or ignorant for reserving that right as a parent. I consider one's refusal to exercise that right cowardly. Even allowing my child to attend public school, and attend the Obama presentation is a decision that is mine to make. I won't whine or complain. I'll take physical action to stop people from doing anything to my child I don't like. - Jason Nunnelley
Tina, I can't defend the position taken by a minority of paranoid parents that their children shouldn't be exposed to the president's presentation. But, I do defend their right to be notified and that decision belongs to the parent. I think withholding your child's attendance is a poor decision. But, I think the suggestion that parents don't have the right to direct their children's education and experiences in childhood is unacceptable in a "free" society. I determine who trains my child, nobody else. - Jason Nunnelley
Jason Nunelley, I'm curious where you think I said that you didn't have the right to raise your children any way you see fit. Or that it was ignorant or backward to reserve that right. I don't think I made either statement. My point remains that this isn't about any real concern for the welfare of the children. It's a politically motivated stunt. - Eoghann Irving
Eoghann Irving, you said "sending someone to school and then complaining because they might be 'indoctrinated' is a ludicrous position." That statement indicated to me that you think taking action to limit said indoctrination is likewise ludicrous. The rest of my statement wasn't aimed at you personally or your comments but more the generic conversation. There are lots of people openly calling concerned parents racist and stupid for even suggesting that the curriculum shouldn't be political. - Jason Nunnelley
What I'm trying (and perhaps failing) to argue is for people to give the real reason they are pulling their children from school. It's not because they're "being indoctrinated" which is a vague phrase that has negative connotations which makes it hard to argue against. It's because of something specific. And the reason they're not giving a clear reason is that it isn't really about the... more... - Eoghann Irving
Rene Wirtz, this is a major disconnect between reality and perception. People who don't like Obama's tactics aren't all racists. They're not fearful that black children will see his example and obtain an education, get a better job, etc. They're fearful that Obama's policies will usher in big Orwellian government. I'm hopeful that Obama will inspire black students. But, I don't want his legislation to pass. I'm also southern, but that doesn't mean I'm a bigot. - Jason Nunnelley
jason totally onboard with your statement, though i know it will get me some less than lovely responses. i definitely do not want Obama's policies to to become embedded because I think they are the wrong ones, not because I want to see him personally fail. I think the best chance for the country to succeed is if his policies sputter - Zachary Adam Cohen
Eoghann Irving, I agree with you. The Republican "protect the children" spin is disgusting. But, I disagree with you on this idea that none of the parents are sincere. A significant number of parents don't like having their children used as pawns. I tire of it in my redneck, backwoods southern town (so you can all assume it's because I'm a racist :). My local school pulls this crap... more... - Jason Nunnelley
Though I consider the reaction these parents have to be bad. I respect a parent's right to opt out of a political stunt. Do I consider the firestorm the Republicans are fanning a political stunt? Of course. But, I don't automatically assume the parents are insincere, or racists. My kids are enjoying logical discussions on why some of the president's desires are noble and some are less so. - Jason Nunnelley
Rene Wirtz, I knew you weren't calling me a bigot. It's the southern comment I'm chastising. Since we're both in the south, I think we should be careful not to further feed this idea that southern people are bigots. It's just not true, at least no more so that Californians or New Yorkers. If J.C. Watts had run and won the presidency, these same relatives would love him. It's not a fear... more... - Jason Nunnelley
I think we need a "back to school" czar. - Spencer
I straight up asked my daughter what she wanted to do and her response was "I'd rather do something else". But how about this - I respect the president's right as president to address children in the public school system, why can't MY right to not have my 7 year old daughter listen to it regardless of message be respected? - Michael Koby
@Michael - Good point. - Kurt Starnes
@Scott - You think they're nutty, they think you're nutty. Ain't America grand? :-) - Kurt Starnes
Isn't it interesting how the "left-leaning" commenters cometely ignore the fact that it's the Dept. of Education lesson plan that people were upset about. - Robert Hafer from iPhone
Robert: I didn't ignore that and I'm left-leaning. - Robert Scoble
Scott, in fairness I think you know they changed it due to public feedback. - Jason Nunnelley
It might be more worthwhile to have Al Franken teach them how to draw a map of the United States. - Sue - Friendfeed is best
does anybody think that, independent of what obama is going to talk about, it's not the president's job to address the nation's kids and this is not appropriate for thim to do in a free country? - Il fu mass
How do you get from people being upset with a lesson that insructs children to write an essay on how they can help spread the President's message to them being racist? - Robert Hafer from iPhone
Scott, (answering q1) Bill Ayers, though people may argue Obama didn't actually associate with him. Jeremiah Wright, though people will argue Obama attended church for twenty years and didn't fully understand the lessons Mr. Wright preached. Obama's nominee for Green Czar, Van Jones, though I realize people will claim that nominating someone to a cabinet position doesn't mean they agree politically. - Jason Nunnelley
Scott, I sincerely appreciated Mr. Wright's willingness to be honest about his message. While Obama tried to pretend he didn't understand that message, or that the preacher didn't mean what he said, Mr. Wright had the courage to say that Obama had no choice but to disassociate himself from that message but that he stood by his statements. I don't like Mr. Wright's message, but respect that he has the guts to say it and stand by it. - Jason Nunnelley
Scott (answering Q2) Originally, the president intended to ask students to participate in an exercise to describe how they would help the president. I view this as relatively innocent, but some do not. That has been changed in reaction to public response. Now, though I find it innocent, I don't like it. - Jason Nunnelley
Scott, I don't have a problem with his present version. But, pretending people are reacting to the version out now and ignoring the history that brought this controversy to most people's attention ignores the true motivations. I'm just suggesting you should consider the reality that your link isn't the source of the controversy. - Jason Nunnelley
I think kids in all 57 states should have the opportunity to hear him speak if their parents don't object. - motownmutt
I had forgotten what Bush was doing that day. That is a great point. If I remember correctly, wasn't the book he was reading to the kids upside down? Or is that an urban myth? - Mike Kirkeberg
Agreed. Robert. Kids today are more evironmentally concious, know whats right and wrong and better perspectives of life, bring on anypne who wants to talk to them, there is no guarantee that they will listen as they are independent :) - Shashi Bellamkonda
The reaction to Obama's original plan is not in a vacuum. The movement to recruit children and young adults into new nationalist organizations concerns some people. It's not so much right-ring Republican types, but more the anti-government types. Pretending this is a flame alone in a desert isn't intellectually honest. << The rhetoric that spikes the concern. - Jason Nunnelley
Your son sounds like a genius. You sound like a liberal elitist. Sometimes liberals are so annoying. Sigh. - practicehacker
Thanks for the links, Jason. I knew some Norwegians who I believe served one year mandatory military service. I thought it served them well. - motownmutt
This administration is serious about engaging young people in quasi-military service. Its cabinet members talked about it openly during the campaign. You can pretend that didn't have an emotional impact, but that's just hiding your eyes to reality. That rhetoric set the stage for the sensitivity you see today over something as innocent as the president encouraging students, even to... more... - Jason Nunnelley
hi Robert, wish you can have a look at this: - kang
the President is not just talking 2 kids, he wanna the kids to be tech wizards I hear? I wouldn't mind Prez chatting with kids but talk 2 what they wanna @ least - polou/indigo_bow
polou/indigo_bow, you might want to actually read the speech before assuming anything. - Jeff P. Henderson
my thoughts exactly - Wardell Latham
sometimes? I do believe 95 percent of the time - Braden Douglass
Interesting in consideration (if it's not already been linked here) - Jason Nunnelley
We should print up threads like this and share them with our kids. Let em see how people with opinions and passions discuss stuff. Good practice for filtering out Presidents --- and teachers, and parents, and professors and cops and newscasters and Jon Stewart and Rush and the deli guy and ... - Thom Kennon
Jason Nunnelley, Seems that just further backs up my argument that this is a politically motivated and cultivated hysteria. Doesn't surprise me that it's been tried before. - Eoghann Irving
Eoghann Irving, I live in a bedroom community in rural Alabama. We're a 70% Republican community. I've not heard a single parent complain about the presentation - not one. The only thing I've heard is reports that the original message contained a curious question from the president to the students, and the president (being much better a man than his political activist supporters) removed it to avoid the conflict. There is no [widespread] fear about Obama's presentation to students. - Jason Nunnelley
Eoghann Irving, this idea that there's widespread panic over the president addressing students is akin to Sarah Palin claiming David Letterman joked about someone raping her daughter. It's a stunt. But, that's different from the hand full of people that have legitimate concerns about this administration's "statist" tendencies. And, I continue to encourage people to avoid dismissing... more... - Jason Nunnelley
citing Bush talking to school kids on 9/11 is not the best evidence that it's a good idea. Sigh - Michael Markman
Wow, @scobleizer fail on this one! Democrats wigged out so bad, they even had an investigation of Bush's speech to a single classroom! I still think you're right - it's idiotic to get all up in arms. But looks like (as usual) both sides are just as guilty. - Douglas Karr
It's Pathetic* The Repubes + Brainwashed Flock have shown Time + Time again that it's Their Way or the Highway - they don't even want People to THINK!! Scary + Frightening Poop* - Billy Warhol
My childrens' school didn't run the speech today. I am so embarrassed. I completely missed this one. Since I don't listen to hate radio or watch the news, I thought I was up to speed based on the more cerebral conversations on this topic. I thought the whole controversy was already squashed when the president dropped the assignment "what can you do to help me," which I thought was... more... - Jason Nunnelley
I'm back to my original reaction to the vitriol on both sides of this conversation. Politics is for suckers. - Jason Nunnelley
When I first heard that people were up in arms about the President speaking to school children... I thought maybe I had fallen into prolonged sleep and was not aware that Hitler was at the head of state again. Plz people. Can we get to what the REAL issue is at hand... and I don't like to play that card ... but sometime it's just too obvious when THE CARD is being played from the other side. - Jim Turner
What is at stake here is not the fact that the President wanted to speak to the kids--that is good. The issue was that it was framed as how we can help the President (hint, hint--his agenda)--and that my liberal friends is what the commotion is about. Obama is about the most disingenuous President I have seen in all my years of closely watching politics. He had the audacity to say that... more... - Sean O'Reilly
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Robert Scoble
Everyone like @shelisrael is looking at Zappos sales. Wrong number to pay attention to. Here's why:
Retail usually has profits of about 5%. Which means out of a billion in sales, Zappos only kept $50,000,000, out of which they had to pay rent, employees, benefits, etc. So, when you see that the purchase price was about $900 million in stock, that makes sense considering the smaller $50 million in real revenue number. - Robert Scoble
rofl - Joel Bennett
lol - Justin
I'm playing duck hunt while scoble types out why.... :) - Adam Jackson
Adam: you're funny and a bad shot! - Robert Scoble
I know the duck move very fast. - Adam Jackson
They got people to buy shoes online. Amazon wouldn't have figured that out alone. - Tom
Nice observation - Michele Neylon
Duck hunt :P There's something I haven't thought of in a hundred years. - Jason Hargrove
Anyway, the way to look at it is really this is a company with $50 million to $100 million in real revenues. That's why $900 million in stock makes sense. - Robert Scoble
is the retail margin you posted, robert, for brick and mortar retail? or online retail? - Tristan Walker
Tom: right, and Amazon gets a bunch of really great executives and a culture that NO ONE can match. - Robert Scoble
Tristan: both. - Robert Scoble
Uh Robert, aren't profits usually calculated AFTER deducting rent, salaries, benefits, etc.? Perhaps you mean operating profit, in which case 5% is low for retail industry. - Ritesh Lal
ya its not about revenue, its about annual net profit usually - sean percival
Yeah, this deal was calculated as a multiple of EBITDA or PBT, not top line revs. - Alan Chamberlain
Tristan: retail sucks unless you are Apple. - Robert Scoble
Sean and Ritesh are right. My number is NOT net profit. That's even lower. - Robert Scoble
Zappos has 1,500 employees and a huge warehouse, etc. - Robert Scoble
Robert: have you heard of bonobos? those guys are pulling impressive margins because theyre direct to consumer, and how about companies like threadless? - Tristan Walker
Tristan: I'd be shocked if they make that much profit percentage wise. They probably have a nice business, though. So does Zappos. - Robert Scoble
The ones who are scared by this are the IT vendors who supply Zappos. - Capn' One Eye - adrift
Does _web_ retail really have only 5% profits? - Joel Bennett
What about, Amazon's shoe site? - Andrew
i think threadless runs at 30% profit margins, will send the link to where i found that stat - Tristan Walker
metageoff: Zappos doesn't have that much IT. Joel: yes. Think about it. Anyone can open a web business. - Robert Scoble
Tristan: Threadless has a very unique business model though. - Ryan
Tristan: that's very high margins for retail, if true. - Robert Scoble
Robert: Can you point me somewhere (edit: grammar) detailing web and brick retail comparisons? - Jason Hargrove
"doesn't have that much IT" - therefore the IT vendors they do have are easy targets for "new efficiencies" - Capn' One Eye - adrift "The business grosses $30 million a year and enjoys profit margins of 30 percent." - Tristan Walker
I'd think Amazon can squeeze savings out of the distribution side too. - Ryan
@Ryan I agree but there are fantastic opportunities in online retail that generate impressive margins. that being said, i understand why zappos would be MUCH will certainly help bump up those numbers through various synergies - Tristan Walker
Amazons next buy will be Rackspace, Great culture and good company. ( I am just guessing based on common sense ) - Luis Borjas
Luis: don't scare me like that! :-) Jason: I can't, but helped manage retail stores for the first 10 years of my career. - Robert Scoble
Quick look at Yahoo Finance says Robert's numbers are in the ballpark. Amazon, Walmart, both have operating profit 4-5%, and net about 1 point lower. Best is Target with 6.7% operating profit. Costco is terrible at 2.53%. - Ritesh Lal
My take was that Amazon is buying a culture. - Jim Turner
Robert, would love to chat with you about your experience there at some point. Interesting space - Tristan Walker
Robert: Retail doesn't suck for Apple because they are vertically integrated. It's just another 5% to add to their bottom line. - Ryan
Robert: fair enough. Hmm. A breakdown on web retailers would be awesome. I see a few links here already. Research task for the summer perhaps. - Jason Hargrove
So will Amazon make all their employees go on Twitter? Imagine the horror although they could probably squeeze a bit more productivity out of them. - Mark Littlewood
Jim: That works. ~sometimes. Hmm. Maybe 'rarely' is a better word. It's tough to acquire a brand culture unless you're prepared for full adoption. One (decade+ old) example is Canada's Telus ( that acquired a small mobile carrier called Clearnet, paving the way for Telus to become a mobile powerhouse. It was all about the Clearnet brand. I remember the CEO quoted as... more... - Jason Hargrove
I wondering if Zappos excellent customer service will be adopted by Amazon, or will it lose some of its well known service. (Hopefully not) - Kim Landwehr
Mixing both companies will be a mistake, because they go with different strategies to achieve differentiation. Amazons focuses on efficiency and lowest cost, Zappos focuses on costumer happiness. I think they can both learn from one another and then keep serving their respective costumers with the strategies that have made them successful this far. - Jorge
Robert, congrats on being a VC, but your 5% estimate for an online retailer seem lower than anything I have heard before. EVER. - shelisrael1
shelisrael1: OK, so let's say it's 30%. Still is 300 million, not a billion like the number you used. I don't think Zappos is that high. If it were, they wouldn't have laid people off last fall. - Robert Scoble
agree with robert...impossibkle their margins are in the 30% range - Tristan Walker
I think we are seeing perhaps a mixing here that could work. With Zappos customer centric culture and Amazon's backend infrastructure. I think that was part of the reason for the layoff since it was mostly that par tof Zappos' company that felt the crunch. - Jim Turner
Good reminder, people often look at the big figure and forget where it all goes. - Andrew Nimick
Everyone seems to be high on Amazon - and if your order comes as expected they are good. But, if it doesn't, the customer service sucks.Example: Order with next day delivery (extra charge) but fulfillment slips from Thurs to Friday. No Sat. delivery, won't come till Monday. Call Amazon and they will redirect you to take it up with the carrier. Fail - PXLated
Talked to some manufacturers reps that handle Amazon. Example-1: Amazon orders by the container load and reorders when down to xx units. Rep gets a new container order and was amazed they'd sold the last that fast. They hadn't, they still had a half container in the warehouse and didn't even know it. - PXLated
Example-2: Customer orders a $2K product. Receives it with a broken part ($150 part). Instead of shipping part, Amazon ships a completely new unit. This happens three more times. And, the customer had to threaten to have the other (broken units) declared abandoned property to get Amazon to pick up the other four units. - PXLated
So, I fear for Zappos - PXLated
Jane Friedman
Twitter is Not a Conversational Platform -
Amanda Chapel
@defcon_5 What @JeffJarvis + friendz miss in the "classical music" analogy is investigative journalism isn't about preference. WE NEED IT!
Amanda Chapel
@chrisbrogan "where would you have me deploy" 1st, STOP HAWKING! Then, help institute checks and balances, i.e. objective ethical standards.
Amanda Chapel
@chrisbrogan "You got pre-empted by life." Indeed. A celeb here recently told me, "U're exactly right; But I've got a mortgage to pay." Sad.
Fast Company
Google vs. Microsoft: Acer's Android Netbook Escalates the Battle -
Google vs. Microsoft: Acer's Android Netbook Escalates the Battle
Amanda Chapel
@chriswebb WTF does @julien a 20 something "professional podcaster" know about trust, agents or business for that matter?
Amanda Chapel
@MarkClayson "Why NPR is the Future of Mainstream Media" Because that model is the only one that will be sustainable.
Jane Friedman
Panel thinks better speed to market for bks is overdue. Maybe quick is good but is "book" the right format for quick/timely content? #bea09
Jane Friedman
Perhaps social media gimmicks and short term pushes won't help -- isn't it about authentic community engagement & long term presence? #bea09
How introverts travel -
Good linked articles for introverts like myself - Adam
Amanda Chapel
@AlKrueger "Why such a hater of @briansolis?" Brian is a snake-oil salesman who shamelessly leverages the hopes+dreams of halfwits+misfits.
okay, but if anyone doesn't like you they're gonna LOVE @brainsolis so, you are his cheer squad? - Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb
Amanda Chapel
@hrouda "'Don't silence negative word of mouth; Drown it out' by @sernovitz. The mature + savvy thing would be to listen + incorporate it.
Amanda Chapel
@MatthewTrifiro "@briansolis' conversation prism is making me dizzy." You? Hell, look what it's done to Brian!
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