Amazon hits The Motherlode

Lexington Park, MD - The selection of Crystal City, in Arlington, VA and Long Island City, just over the 59th Street Bridge from Manhattan should come as no surprise. These two strategic locations would be very high on Amazon's list as locations for their HQ2 expansion. They may have been identified day one of the search. Amazon has had a strong presence in Northern Virginia and in New York for many years.

Site selection Is all about the talent pool. Amazon will find it in Crystal City and the greater New York areas. Amazon's Information engineers actually do live in the clouds, compared to us mere mortals, as they develop the dynamic ontologies and semantic technologies required for artificial intelligence, in mining large data, to come up with the algorithms that seem to be able to read one's mind.

Amazon's success, has been based on a very canny business model. Merge the best e-commerce platform with the power of Artificial Intelligence and develop a disruptive and very effective supply chain---The Bezos genius. 

So if it really has nothing to do with a few billion in tax incentives, (that is a drop in the bucket for a company with a $1 trillion market cap), what kind of deal did Mr. Bezos make?  He stated how he was going to make the final selection, immerse himself in all of the data examine it and then make the selection with his heart.

Amazon needs brain power. The kind of folks who can think at such lofty technological and philosophical heights are a rare commodity---much in demand. 

Why then would Mr. Bezos solicit proposals from over 220 different locations?  Maybe the real benefit from this huge data call, was all of the proposals submitted have provided at no cost to Amazon, the most intimate and proprietary demographic details (All signed non- disclosures) from cities all over the US. A really, really large pile of data, perfect to be fed into the magic machine that the information engineers use to hone their algorithms to target market  customers with more and more precision. Amazon's conception, constant agility, strategies and "know how" to eliminate the competition, If any actually can cross the economic moat, is Mr. Bezos legacy. 

It is of interest, that in Seattle spin-offs and start-ups have promulgated with many run by entrepreneurs who left the Amazon mothership. Southern Maryland is pretty well positioned to leverage the new player in the region.

And hats off to Mr. Bezos for assembling and now refining and expanding one of the largest databases in the world ideal to know who lives where and what they like to buy!

States and municipalities who want to drive economic development the old fashioned way could learn volumes if they understand that financial incentives provide massive corporations a system to game. Most often than not when these mega deals occur it is a zero sum game. 

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