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Topic: 60 Minutes
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December 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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: (more…)
October 22, 2013 at 6:50 AM
If voter anger and frustration with Congress are waning after the mindless closure of the federal government, and flirtation with a massive credit debacle, a “60 Minutes” report will renew the head-shaking disgust.
Correspondent Steve Kroft laid out the pure self-serving greed and aggrandizement behind a lucrative device known as Leadership PACs. The rules around campaign financing are mushy enough, and a case before the U.S. Supreme Court seeks to blow the lid off, but Leadership PACs are different, and pure gold.
As the CBS report “Washington’s open secret: Profitable PACs,” explains, members of Congress can use “money solicited from friends and supporters to advance agendas, careers and lifestyles.” The money can be used to wine and dine contributors, put family members on the campaign payroll, and even make loans to political causes at rates that might embarrass a corner cash-advance lender. And, besides, no one is auditing where the money goes.
Kroft confronted Democrats and Republicans who are members in good standing of this Order of the Out-Stretched Palm. They respond with nary a blush.
They were living the good life and endowing loyalty, support and more donations. Sure they could be noble and forego pay during the federal shutdown; access to cash was not a problem.