Bezos Nabs Post. Re-boards the Synergy-Go-Round
What could you buy with 1% of your net worth?
Hmm . . .
While you’re leaving a message with your broker, who’s making the turn on the back-nine, ponder this: If you head the average U.S. household, you could take that $700 (1% of $77,000 and change) to buy yourself a new ipad!
Or, wackier still, you could spring for a beautiful 1992 Toyota Tercel, freshly washed—with just 176,111 miles on the odometer.
But let’s just say you’re not the average Jill, (and I know, given the advanced intelligence of our followership, that’s true)—let’s say you’re . . . Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos!
In that enticing scenario—Jeff’s paucity of hair and height aside—converting 1% of your personal worth to Mad Money would net you $250-million. Enough hard scratch to buy the late Steven Jobs’ super-yacht, Venus.
It contains only items of absolute necessity—at least according to designer Phillipe Starke as quoted in SuperYacht Times.
Or, to hone in closer to the point of all this, you could do just as Bezos actually did, and buy one of America’s most coveted Ladies of Journalism, the Washington Post.
One simple question: Why?
Nature abhorring a void, and Twitter abhorring a paucity of saucy chatter, the cyber-sphere’s been full of it—saucy chatter, I mean.
I’ve held my modestly acerbic wit at bay to this very point, but my initial thoughts, now nearly two weeks removed from the Bezos-bomb:
a) Jeff had grown weary of trudging to the newsstand day after day.
b) He’d always longed to meet Carl Bernstein—then, shortly after his $250 million check cleared, embarrassingly realized that Bernstein not only hadn’t worked at the Post in 36 years, and never favored Robert Redford in the least.
c) One more attempt at quenching an endless fascination with Dead Media (see: Amazon/books/1994)
But wait. If I may be so bold as to “mix-quote” N’awlins piano legend Mac “Dr. John” Rebeneck with my 80-ish year-old mother-in-law, Irene “the Bean” Johnson: “Les’ not be jumpin’ to any confusement, that young man Bezos is one smart cookie!”
And—no surprise here—Dr. J. and Irene are absolutely spot-on: It’s very early to be scanning the tea leaves; and Bezos is, well, very bright.
In sum, we’ve seen and will continue to see endless speculation—he paid way too much; it’s the bargain of the century.
It’s nothing more than an indulgent-bauble purchase; he’s just the NMG (New Media Guru) to tap unseen synergies and generate previously unimaginable upside.
If I were wagering my 1%, I’d lean toward Bezos finding the upside, synergistically speaking.
After all, this is the man who essentially trumped the Kings of Retail Waltons* at their own game, reinventing retailing (and now home entertainment) at the drop-ship of a zillion bric-a-brac and the streaming of “Downton Abbey.”
Synergistic Close: “Judy—City Desk here! Get me rewrite and another case of 5-Hour Energy Drink®--and use my Amazon Prime!”
*The six Wal-Mart heirs based on the most recent calculations, will inherit a net worth roughly equal to that of the bottom 30% of the U.S. population—who sez there’s no Middle Class?