Before we get to those much-talked-about drones, it’s worth pausing for a moment to remember the larger theme that emerged from Sunday’s “60 Minutes” profile on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: Innovation is the key to survival for any company or employee.
You gotta earn your keep in this world. When you invent something new, if customers come to the party, it’s disruptive to the old way.
But enough sage advice from a shrewd entrepreneur.
The Internet is all abuzz over the final three minutes in the segment. Bezos pulled off a sophisticated PR stunt on the eve of Cyber Monday when he unveiled the possibility Amazon will use octocopters (a.k.a. drones) in the future to deliver goods to consumers wherever they may be.
“I know this looks like science fiction, but it’s not,” Bezos told his visibly intrigued interviewer, Charlie Rose.
Here’s video of a prototype from Amazon’s YouTube channel:
Of course, a drone delivery service isn’t even legal and it’s unclear whether the FAA will ever actually approve it. (Read this CNN Money reality-check story.)
Did CBS get worked Sunday night by one of the richest men in the world? Yeah. Kinda.
Steve Jobs would be proud of Bezos’ blatant marketing ploy before a national audience on the most storied newsmagazine show in television history.
But even if there’s no chance Amazon Prime Air will begin any sooner than 2015, Bezos gets some kudos for stirring up our collective imagination (or for some people, horror at the thought of these unmanned drones flying through the air and possibly — gulp — hitting unintended targets).
The AP’s Scott Mayerowitz offered a list of “novel uses” for Amazon Prime Air, including these two cheeky ideas:
— Sitting at the ballpark and don’t want to pay $8.50 for a beer? No worries, as an Amazon Prime customer, the “Amazon Express Chopper” will bring you a cold six-pack of your favorite craft beer for just $7.
— For the right price, maybe the drone will even change your baby’s diaper and fly off with the dirty one.
If I could have anything delivered to me via drone? Oh, the possibilities are endless. Let’s say I’m skiing on a bluebird day and the last thing I want to do is come down the mountain, wait in a long line for food and fight for a table. If Amazon could deliver anywhere, I’d find a pretty spot at the summit and wait for my picnic lunch (and some hand warmers) to get dropped off at my feet.
What would you do? Share your ideas in the form below. Thoughtful, quirky answers may get republished in a future blog post. Note: first and last names are required.
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