Interesting interview with Werner Vogel, Amazon's CTO. If you would like to understand what it takes to build and run a platform business that is enabled by technology, go read it. Amazon is not (just) a retailer and that's part of the reason why the company will be able to create so much more value than a (perceived) competitor like say Bol.com. This article is a good reminder for anyone having (or starting) a technology based business. Will you be a service and/or will you be a feature?
"Many think of Amazon as "that hugely successful online bookstore." You would expect Amazon CTO Werner Vogels to embrace this distinction, but in fact it causes him some concern. "I think it's important to realize that first and foremost Amazon is a technology company," says Vogels. And he's right. Over the past years, Vogels has helped Amazon grow from an online retailer (albeit one of the largest, with more than 55 million active customer accounts) into a platform on which more than 1 million active retail partners worldwide do business. Behind Amazon's successful evolution from retailer to technology platform is its SOA (service-oriented architecture), which broke new technological ground and proved that SOAs can deliver on their promises."