Amazon acquiring Whole Foods leads everyone to ask, “How big can Amazon get?” In a unique comparison, Quartz Media lets Jeff Bezos know what he can learn from John D. Rockefeller. The article highlights both mens’ determination to exert as much control over as large a swath of the US economy as is possible. Quartz predicts a similar outcome for Amazon as Standard Oil, or maybe more likely Microsoft 1998 antitrust violations, saying, “The company is growing so big, so fast, that a clash with the government is inevitable.”
Along with raising the question of what the future holds for Amazon, the Whole Food acquisition is making people take a hard look at the future of brick and mortar retail. According to the Forbes article, Whole Foods has 456 locations across 43 states in the U.S. as well as a presence in Canada and the U.K. What makes these locations even more valuable is, for the most part, they are in high-end affluent neighborhoods. Having this built-in infrastructure, and arguably the most experience with e-commerce distribution, this makes Amazon an immediate player in the online fresh food delivery game. I wonder how companies like Blue Apron feel about that?
Facebook has built the largest network of people the world has ever seen. In an article written by the New York Times, Facebook’s network was cited as their secret weapon in beating every rival. But, according to an interview with Mark Zuckerberg this week, the company has bigger goals than connecting everyone online. “It's important to give people a voice, to get a diversity of opinions out there, but on top of that, you also need to do this work of building common ground so that way we can all move forward together,” Zuckerberg said. This aligns with Facebook’s new mission statement, "To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." Community has always been a core tenant of Capstak, realizing that there is more to a deal than property and capital. People make deals happen, and connecting people is why we built Capstak.
The Real Deal, satirically suggested that billionaires are buying up land in the middle of the country to prep for the apocalypse. And while being prepared is always good, this idea seems a bit far-fetched. What seems a little more plausible is these smart investors are buying land in growth markets in order to capitalize on future development booms. Many articles have shown more and more Americans are migrating away from the coasts, and from 2000 to 2015 California saw more people leave for more affordable locations than they saw put down roots in the Golden State. Is buying land in the middle of America a strategic move, or do they know something about an impending apocalypse that the rest of us don’t?
According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield, about 700 million square feet of office space is currently under construction worldwide. Most of this development is in China, but American cities including Brooklyn, Austin, San Francisco, Nashville and Seattle are all cited as being at risk for overbuilding. Kevin Thorpe, the global chief economist at Cushman & Wakefield, notes that job growth is slowing as we reach full employment. This is going to cause less demand for office space, an issue which could be compounded by companies increased use of remote offices.