Though it’s freezing out, we were warmed to come back from New Year’s to see that the Wall St. Journal has validated two of our trends.
We predicted that bitcoin would be the subject of daily news coverage, and that seems to be very much to be the case, just check out the latest in a stream of articles about bitcoins: “For Bitcoin, A Year Like No Other In 2017, bitcoin became one of the market’s greatest speculative crazes; it remains to be seen whether it can live up to the hype.” We expect this to continue throughout 2018. What’s more, we expect to see dedicated columnists and online media outlets devoted to bitcoin. (That said, we’re not sure bitcoin is not some kind of trend, and we are not endorsing bitcoin or cryptocurrency — just saying we expect it to be a subject that gets covered by the news media.)
The other trend is about the market force and impact that Amazon wields. Check out Christopher Mims wrote, “Even Amazon, a Colossus, Has Its Limits,” which does say that Amazonification is not inevitable. According to Mims, part of where Amazon is most successful is in driving down prices of commodity items, not in developing premium devices like an iPhone (its success with Alexa notwithstanding). He said, increasingly, Amazon serves as a retail platform for other retailers, taking 15% of their sales via amazon.com — and that’s why Amazon has its limits: because Amazon still needs other retailers to succeed on its platform.
We think that’s true but that Amazon continues to be the major retailing factor in 2018 and beyond. We expect Amazonification to be debated and examined throughout the year.