You know those tiny little metal pegs that support IKEA shelving? I needed some the other day.
Foolishly I went to the local hardware store. Nope.
Famous name High Street Retailer? Nope
"Have you tried Amazon?", a weary friend asked.
Doh. I had overlooked the obvious.
Two days later my new shelves were proudly supported by those little critters. (What are they called?)
As (almost) always the Amazon delivery was fluid, effortless and finger-tapping easy. And yes, I bought a couple of other things I really needed at the same time. You have to, don't you.
And that's the point of Amazon. It's become a wafer thin process, delivering delight to millions of people.
So when like the rest of planet I woke to discover the lithe, nifty Jeff Bezos had popped the Washington Post into his basket with one click of his fingers I was thrilled.
Publicis Omnicom was now old news. Thank goodness. Mr. Bezos and the Washington Post were new news.
The Internet pioneer stunned us with this purchase. What could it mean? What are we to expect?
The Internet was ablaze with guesses that were, delightful, thoughtful and fanciful in equal measure.
In comparison to the Publicis Omnicom deal it felt fresh, dashing and exciting.
Something new was about to take place.
Something else is going on.
I looked at the figures.
At the end of 2010, the American multinational e-commerce company (that's Amazon to you and me) announced 130 million active customer accounts. As of the fourth quarter of 2012, Amazon had over 200 million active customer accounts. Furthermore, seven percent of the U.S. population were subscribers to Amazon's Prime service.
Bigger than I thought.
Amazon is the biggest online retailer. Period. Every single day hundreds of thousands of people receive an Amazon package to their door.
I turned to the WashPo (as it is now so often called).
By March 31st 2013, the dear old, venerable and much revered Washington Post had a daily circulation of just 474, 767 and the prestigious Sunday edition 838,014, according to the US based Alliance for Audited Media.
Oh. A little less formidable in sales terms than Amazon.
So here's a strategy for Jeff. (For free, Jeff, of course).
Give the Washington Post away to every one of those customers who, every day, is expecting a delivery of something from Amazon. Start with .com and then expand it to become a global newspaper.
Heck. Make it global Day One. Your other company, Jeff, has the infrastructure to make this happen.
The circulation of the quality, thoughtful, well-established, and, most importantly, influential, newspaper would go through the roof.
Then, Jeff, mosey down to the boys at Publicis/Omnicom/WPP etc etc and sell that ad space for triple what you're getting today.
It's all about delivery.
A newspaper, Jeff.