Amazon And Housing

In its search for a new headquarters, Amazon is rewriting rules for how cities and their environs make policy on basic building blocks like housing, transit, accessibility, environment, investment, education, reflecting a far more active and engaged stake in who the winning place wants to be when it grows up to be an Amazon base. It will be interesting to watch what happens to NIMBY-ist instincts and effectiveness in blocking needed development in light of the economic adrenaline cities and most of their citizens believe would trigger upon selection.
Too, the sally into health care begins to express the "something" in "something's got to give." Everyone knows health care in America is a broken system. Amazon and its two partners are betting they can model and scale a fix for their combined million or so employees and associates, and possibly in the process, create a template that could iterate and scale up even further--this worries incumbent, established giants of the health care industry, whose positions and future rely on their role in shaping what health care systems can and can't do.
Amazon and its partners plan to upend that status quo because they believe that's the only way to exert agency with respect to an issue that is unravelling out of control to the detriment of American society.
Interesting thought about the venture's trio of masterminds Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon: it would be unlikely to imagine them not at least chatting about another of their shared interests, investments, and strategies--housing and community development.
Will Amazon buy a home builder? Maybe. What Amazon--which despite myths that it has never turned a profit, has done so for six straight quarters after almost two decades of running in the red--represents in any business community is dynamism, the capacity to take on tried and true rules and make new ones.


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