Amazon Prime is disruptive technology for retail stores

Disruptive technology is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology

Jason Calcanis on The Cult of Amazon Prime, where $79 a year gets you free 2-day shipping (and more) and why that changes everything.

According to most Prime members I’ve talked to, one of the greatest joys of the cult membership is never again having to deal with an apathetic teenager or bitter baby boomer forced to work in retail.

You can buy just about anything you need from Amazon now with free shipping with no minimum order size. So why go shopping at stores when you can order online from a trusted retailer instead?

Make no mistake. This is disruptive technology, the creative destruction of earlier industries and businesses by something that replaces them. For some it will be painful

The only downside to Prime’s ascendancy is that it’s going to wipe out tens of thousands of retail jobs that are currently filled by the least employable of our workforce.

It’s not a jump to say that many of these retail jobs are filled by folks who have *already* taken a huge career nosedive from the middle class to the just-above poverty level of retail workers.

They’re going to get fracked twice in 20 years: first getting knocked from the white collar or blue collar middle class to the retail working-class jobs, and then to no jobs.

But, he asks, do we really need or want malls anyway?

Did any of us ask for this massive consumption ecosystem to be built?

All of these malls and choices seemed fun for a while, but Prime cult members have now won their freedom. They are opting for a simpler and more efficient form of consumption.

Buying online also saves huge amounts of energy and gas, especially when tens of millions of people are doing it.

I spoke recently with a Fedex driver with a route betwen Salt Lake City and Cedar City. He said during the Christmas rush that 40% of the packages were from Amazon.

Is Amazon the new Walmart?