Amazon and Google: Two Different Investment Angles

July 1, 2018

I read “Alphabet Joins $300m Funding Round for Electric Scooter Start-Up.” (You may have to pay to read this because the outfit that thought Endeca was the next big thing in search charges for scooter stories.) I thought about Segways, the allegedly revolutionary personal transportation scooter. Lessons may be needed even though there once was a Segway polo league. Practical and no horsey duties after a match.

I assume that Alphabet Google sees smaller scooters as the next big thing. Is this a strategic investment, a tactical play, or just a nifty idea warranting Google bucks?

I thought about Amazon’s investment in PillPack. You can get some of the business information at this link.

Somewhere in Twitterland, an ink stained wretch may come up with the title for a post called “A Tale of Two Investments.” I would flip to the end of the write up to answer the question:

Which company is making a more strategic play?

From my vantage point in Harrod’s Creek, these two deals illustrate a difference between the GOOG and the Bezos buck machine. Younger people dig scooters. Scooters are fun.

Filling prescriptions and then following the orders of a real live doctor is another. Plus, some ageing American is into prescriptions. Boomers are a here and now market. I for one dislike going to the pharmacy, giving codes, showing IDs, and answering questions to get whatever my cardiologist thinks is good for me.

I assume that if a millennial falls off a scooter or is hit by an autonomous vehicle, that click to buy outfit will be ready to respond. Google will let the Lime rider snag another scooter when he or she is once again ready to move from Point A to Point B as long as it is not raining, snowing, too far, requires a jaunt on an expressway, or a short cut through a field.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2018


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