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Bloomberg has a story analyzing how Amazon is trying to position its Echo/Alexa technology as being the "digital brain at the center of our automated homes," and is working to outmaneuver companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple to be the go-to company in this regard.

The broader ambition, the story says, "is to connect users to Amazon shopping and to become a home operating system through connections to lights, door locks, refrigerators and any other imaginable thing that can be implanted with a computer chip ... If the smart home ever becomes a reality — and tech history is littered with predictions of digital revolutions that never happened — it’s premature to pick winners and losers. Amazon’s biggest disadvantage is that the smartphone is still the center of the world’s digital life, and that makes smartphone-based home automation approaches like Apple’s and Google’s the better bet."

The Bloomberg story suggests that while Amazon has a goal of selling 10 million Alexa-based devices next year, that is small potatoes "compared with the 1 billion Apple devices in use worldwide.

"But when Amazon devotes itself to a mission, it can bulldoze everything it sees. The key to becoming a dominant operating system is persuading as many other companies as possible to tailor their products to your operating system, just as Microsoft did with Windows and Apple with iPhones. That’s what Amazon is doing by slowly convincing makers of air conditioners and thermostats and home-security cameras to devise products that work with Amazon’s home software brain."
KC's View:
It is important to contrast Amazon's approach with Walmart's. Amazon has an ecosystem-centered view of the world that puts it potentially at the center of everything. Walmart wants to sell more stuff online.

I always think that fortune favors the bold, or, in the original Latin, Audentes Fortuna iuvat.

Of course, if I remember my ancient history correctly, the guy who first said that sailed his boat so close to Mount Vesuvius that he died when it erupted.

So there's a downside. I'm just saying.