Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the critiques of Amazon; Jeff Bezos’ annual letters; Shooting, sex crime, and theft: Airbnb takes halting steps to protect its users; Question No. 7 to ask before you marry someone; A reader broke off his engagement.
1) Amazon (AMZN) is one of the most incredible business stories of all time. In less than three decades, it has grown to be a global juggernaut that has changed the world in countless ways… So every investor and businessperson should study the company closely. As a start, I suggest reading all of the annual letters by founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, which I’ve compiled into a 76-page PDF posted here.
Not surprisingly, with great success and great power has come great scrutiny. Here's a collection of articles from the past month that are critical of Amazon:
- Prime Leverage: How Amazon Wields Power in the Technology World, New York Times
- Prime Mover: How Amazon Wove Itself Into the Life of an American City, New York Times
- Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store, New York Times
- Prime Anchor: An Amazon Warehouse Town Dreams of a Better Life, New York Times
- How Amazon knocks off Allbirds, Robinhood
- You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon – Literally, Wall Street Journal
I think this scrutiny is healthy and mostly well-deserved – but it doesn't change my view that the stock is attractive. As an investor, my job is to tune out the noise and focus on the fundamentals, which remain strong, as this article highlights: Holidays Cheer Amazon, Tiffany.
2) Speaking of scrutiny of tech leaders, this article shows why it's needed – because, without it, these companies generally put growth and profits ahead of safety: Shooting, Sex Crime, and Theft: Airbnb Takes Halting Steps to Protect Its Users - The Wall Street Journal. Excerpt:
Airbnb employees had a proposal in 2017 for making the home-sharing platform safer for both hosts and guests. Everyone who signs up, they suggested, should have to provide a government identification such as a driver's license.