Each month, “Ammirati on Innovation” episodes will look at ways that the disruptive-startup mentality is spreading beyond young entrepreneurs to big established corporations. Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Carnegie Mellon B-school professor Sean Ammirati, who sits at the intersection of these high-change dynamics, provides insight.
In this episode, Sean and I focus on the inherent tension of keeping Amazon Web Services under the parent company Amazon. Sean says that AWS would be one of the 10 most valuable companies in the world the day it went public on its own. And he understands that spinning out AWS would work for basically everybody—except Jeff Bezos, who is currently CEO of two of the most-valuable companies in the world.
In an astute point, Sean notes there would be a ton of customers making very different decisions if AWS was a standalone entity. For example: would the CEO of Kroger stand on stage with Jeff Bezos, who owns Whole Foods, the way that he might with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella? Sean doesn’t think so.
Meanwhile, as Amazon’s shadow continues to loom over AWS, Sean says Microsoft and Google are doing in the cloud space exactly what retailers, healthcare companies, and banks should be doing. They’re asking, “What’s our incumbency advantage, and what are we best in the world at?” and building on those specialties.
You can also stream the audio-only version of this episode:
'@AWScloud would be one of the 10 most valuable companies in the world the day it went public.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'This is a major part of companies' decision-making process right now… they don't want to give their precious cash to somebody who turns around and eats their lunch.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'If @AWScloud was a standalone security, you could literally just make a bet on the macro trend of cloud computing.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet
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Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars
Sean Ammirati is one of our regular Digital All-Stars appearing in monthly video podcasts. The conversations focus on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world in the digital age of 2020. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas and insights about high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.