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   Technology, Inc. (AMZN)

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To: KeepItSimple who wrote (71181)8/1/1999 8:20:00 PM
From: GST
   of 164087
KIS -- Re: the offshore calls -- is this widely known and are you sure it is true? I don't really understand this. Is there something more you could say -- I have been doing a lot of travelling and may have missed any discussion or reporting on this.

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To: GST who wrote (71191)8/1/1999 8:30:00 PM
From: Mark Fowler
   of 164087
Gst i'm going on vacation tonight and will not be back for sometime i hope you enjoy and i'll keep what you say in out for inflation...

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To: Victor Lazlo who wrote (71095)8/1/1999 8:32:00 PM
From: astyanax
   of 164087
New Amazon.toast article by Forrester Research! For those with short attention spans, Forrester Research CEO George F. Colony boldly predicted, when Barnes & Noble started their online effort, that was to be "Amazon.toast". It is now years later and I'm wondering when this "toasting" will begin.

But undettered, Colony now says that Net guru Mary Meeker was spewing "garbage" when she recently exclaimed that companies like Amazon, Yahoo, and Ebay have a nearly insuperable lead. And, of course, Colony cites the infamous "Amazon.bomb" Barron's article approvingly.

New report at

I've got a limited subscription, I'm not sure if anyone can access the URL so I'll post it all below. And you can get more of their wonderful research (even if it often falls on its face) by shelling out a lot of $ for a full subscription.

- - Netconductor

My View: Beyond Amazon
From: George F. Colony, President, Forrester

Quickly: It's too early to call the winners in the Internet economy. Example: Amazon.

Content: I was reading a breathless article in The New Yorker recently about Mary Meeker. Mary is
the financial analyst at Morgan Stanley who has taken a lot of Internet companies public over the
last several years. Mary was spouting the conventional wisdom that the "land grab" on the Internet
is under way, and the big grabbers like Yahoo!, AOL, Amazon, and eBay verge on domination due
to their vast "land holdings." Here's how she puts it: "In some categories, it's already 'Game over.' I
wouldn't want to be competing against Yahoo!. I wouldn't know how."

This is garbage. In the Internet economy, we are sitting around campfires in loincloths chewing on
bones -- it's very, very early in the development of this economy. Check out the Amazon case.

Amazon supposedly will dominate because of five factors: 1) Its brand is well-known; 2) it is
gathering the best customer information; 3) its access to capital is endless; 4) it has the best
technology; and 5) its syndication tactic (selling at other sites) makes it forever ubiquitous.

Here's why this thinking is wrong:

1) On-line brands are fleeting. Yes, the Amazon electronic brand has strength. But Forrester's
survey of 100,000 Americans has shown that loyalty in the on-line world does not match loyalty in
the physical world. New brands are always just one click away -- just ask CompuServe, Prodigy, or
PointCast. And four-channel brands -- which span brick-and-mortar, mail order, phone order, and
Internet commerce -- will have a reach advantage over one-channel brands like Amazon.

2) Customer information will be ubiquitous. Yes, Amazon is gathering a formidable database on its
customers' preferences. Problem: In the future, information on consumers will be detailed and
widely available. No single company will have a monopoly on customer behavior or attitudes.

3) Capital markets cut two ways. As evidenced in the May 31, 1999, "Amazon.bomb" article in
Barron's, the capital markets aren't going to perpetually fall for Amazon's ". . . don't expect us to
make money for a long time" rap. And the free-flowing equity and debt markets help and hurt.
Capital is gushing into the Internet economy -- funding companies that want to cut off Amazon's
head.'s strategy is to forever underprice Amazon, an early harbinger of the emerging
competitive forces.

4) Technology IQ is growing. When Amazon started up, the technology smarts of companies like
Barnes & Noble were subterranean. But standard packages like Vignette and the spread of best
practices are leveling the playing field.

5) Syndication will be challenged by new software. Amazon's strategy of selling books at other
sites will be attacked by technologies like Vstores. This system enables any site to start up an
on-line bookstore quickly and easily, with fulfillment coming directly from the book distributor. Why
give Amazon a 10% cut when you can do it yourself?

What It Means -- No. 1: It's early. Hypergrowth in the Internet economy in the United States will
not begin until late 2000. The game is not over; it's just begun. No one company has built an
unassailable citadel yet, despite what the eIntoxicated investment bankers might say. Land that's
been "conquered" by the Yahoo!s, Amazons, and eBays can be recaptured and shared.

What It Means -- No. 2: The power of multichannel plays has yet to be seen. So far, only a few
small examples -- REI and Eddie Bauer, with sales via retail, mail, phone, and Internet -- have really
attained traction yet. I believe that multichannel plays will have extraordinary power if companies
elegantly blend and synchronize those channels. Who will be the Wal-Mart of the Net? Wal-Mart --
if it has a high technology IQ and the organizational flexibility to break down barriers between its

What It Means -- No. 3: Brand equals giving customers a great experience in the on-line world.
That means new brands can come to the fore with blinding speed based on the use of new
technology. Priceline and eToys could be left with legacy technology, while newcomers entice away
their customers with more immersive, interactive experiences.

The upcoming threats to Amazon give a glimmer of how hellishly competitive on-line commerce will
be, complete with unfaithful consumers, new challengers, and a relentless pace of technology
change. Multichannel presence will be a major advantage in this world.


P.S. I welcome your comments. Please e-mail me at If you don't want to
receive My View, simply send e-mail to with the following command in
the body of your message: signoff myview. Thanks.

To sign up for George Colony's My View, enter your e-mail address below:

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To: Mark Fowler who wrote (71194)8/1/1999 8:33:00 PM
From: GST
   of 164087
Mark -- have a great vacation, and I will keep one eye on the charts :)

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To: Tom D who wrote (71186)8/1/1999 8:41:00 PM
From: H James Morris
   of 164087
>>Your profits on AMZN are awesome. Congratulations.<<
TomD, thank you. One year ago I felt that I walked into a mob going the other way. Have you ever tried to swim against a rip tide?
I'll tell you what I've learned! Never bet against a float that the big guys are in control of.
Thank God those days are over with Amzn. Dscm is next.

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To: astyanax who wrote (71195)8/1/1999 8:49:00 PM
From: Michael Young
   of 164087
<<For those with short attention spans, Forrester Research CEO George F. Colony boldly predicted, when Barnes & Noble started their online effort, that was to be "Amazon.toast". >>

Are you suggesting he was wrong? Looks like B&N is cutting into the growth of AMZN's book market.


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To: GST who wrote (71196)8/1/1999 9:00:00 PM
From: Mark Fowler
   of 164087
and I will keep one eye on the charts :) <<

I certainly hope the charts will lead you to better times... and always keep your eye on the fundamentals... Go yhoo!

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To: GST who wrote (71163)8/1/1999 9:33:00 PM
From: H James Morris
   of 164087
>> you should know that, look at the quality of the stocks that are making you rich <g><<
Gst, one IPO gone bad?? Which one are you referring to?
As far as the quality, do you think a slut like me really cares??
As long as the door doesn't hit my ass, and I'm the not the last one leaving, I'll stay in this casino for ???*ever*, *never*, *tomorrow*?
I hope that this mania will last until the end of this year. In fact my speculation account is increasing on that speculation.
I still think that you and Kiss are still giving us warning signs away to early.
Have you ever wondered why Warren Buffet doesn't post here??
I'm having dinner with my ex-wife tonight, please wish us luck,also!;-)

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To: GST who wrote (71193)8/1/1999 9:34:00 PM
From: KeepItSimple
   of 164087
> the offshore calls -- is this widely known and are you sure it is true?

I originally heard about this from a post on the AMZN thread on The Motley Fool, it was very brief and just mentioned that an 8 billion dollar series of calls with a strike of 200 had been written as a swiss franc offering. I asked my "real human" broker at ML to check into it, and he confirmed it had just been offered. Since it was offshore (in switzerland) there was no name attached to it- but due to the gigantic dollar size it had to be either the biggest naked position since Long Term Capital, or it was covered by Bezos' shares. Deutche Morgan Grenfell was the only other candidate, but as I recall someone pointed out that it was unlikely to have been them due to regulatory issues..

Considering Amazon's checkered past in preferring to raise bond money through offshore rather than domestic offerings, and Bezos' previous career as a hedge fund manager, an action like this makes perfect sense.

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To: Jan Crawley who wrote (71185)8/1/1999 9:40:00 PM
From: KeepItSimple
   of 164087
> How do I know that's true.

Call your broker and see who offered that 8 billion $ load of Jan 2000 strike 200 calls around february of this year. Now tell me which shareholder or institution has enough AMZN shares to cover a position that large? (hint: only two)

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