Is Amazon your White Walker Army?

It seems that I keep hearing more and more about Amazon entering big markets. Each time I learn of a new strategy I think to myself - "Well, that should be it."

And, then comes another one ...

Jeff Bezos must be keeping executives up at night. Actually, I might be wrong about that as they first must accept that Amazon is a threat. Once this threat is known, then it could be too late.

If you follow the Game of Thrones series, then you are going to appreciate this post.

If you haven't spotted a picture of Jeff Bezos lately ...


Ok... kidding - this is the Night King of G.O.T.

But, to the poor souls staring back at an amazon assault it might be an accurate portrayal either way.

It was just recently explained to me that Jeff Bezos disrupts large markets that are being under-served.

I suppose I should warn executives to stop reading because the following content could be offensive and will fuel nightmares.

Jeff Bezos created something of almost unimaginable power - Amazon Web Services or AWS. Let me introduce you to the Ice Dragon:


Yes, that is the Night King riding on top of the Ice Dragon.

Amazon had an army of smart and talented professionals for years (white walkers) before AWS; now, Bezos is armed with AWS and he is disrupting the biggest kingdoms ( markets ) simply because of the unpreparedness demonstrated by those currently serving those markets.

I witnessed the downfall of a few organizations during my career. I remember what it felt like to watch one household brand fall to another in retail. In business, the key is not to dwell on what went wrong, but to learn from failure. Learning from failure is exactly what entrepreneurship teaches. Lean and Agile also have a lot to say about adjusting an approach after trying something that does not yield intended results. I call it the scare tissue and I have earned my share. Paying attention to the news - I can't image how any executive is resting easy wondering if their Kingdom is next in line to be visited by the Night King and his new pet. But, does it have to be this way? How can leaders learn from the scare tissue earned by others?

Here are observations to help forge a defense against the Night King:

1.) Believe in the Night King and his army of white walkers - you must find your John Snow and his army of fierce fighters. In G.O.T, John Snow has seen the white walkers first hand and is trying to convince the kingdoms to stop bickering with each other as there is a much bigger threat on the horizon. Of course, he is being patted on the head by those ruling the kingdoms. There, there - please do not burden our reality with truth - much less scary truth. John, is viewed as an out of touch alarmist and that is frowned upon in the kingdoms. These leaders are too busy focused on maintaining their own silos and are placing the entire realm of the living at risk. In other words, all the kingdoms (silos) will fall if they don't change their behaviors.


2.) Unite the kingdoms and find Dragon Glass just in case - now that John Snow showed you a white walker it is time to mobilize. John Snow will help convince these leaders to join forces or they will all lose their smaller kingdoms. Do not be afraid to make difficult decisions such as abandoning traditions of the past - it is a new game being played right now and the old defenses may work, but most likely will not as AWS is changing the game.

3.) Partner - to build up your powers and capabilities. You will need it all. You will need the very best minds in your organization focused on your most difficult challenges. You must find ways to combine forces with your partners in order to defend and defeat the Night King and his Ice Dragon. Once you collected input from the best minds in your organization, then go find even smarter people to partner with externally. You will need everything as Amazon is bringing world-class talent to the battle ground.

I can't think of many businesses that are immune from technology. Web Commerce and digital marketing are the life blood of most organizations. I'm not sure how many businesses will flourish without a strong defense that protects their digital presence and their digital assets.

You simply must invest in cloud strategies and partner with cloud providers in order to gain familiarity with these tools which will change the fundamentals of your business.

Otherwise, I fear that your market or firm is next up for a visit from the Night King and his Ice Dragon.

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