Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Same Day Delivery

I'm optimistic about the new year. That's me, almost always smiling.

But....I guess I've been so buried in regulatory analysis the past week that I missed Mr. Bezos' announcement of a grand scheme for Amazon -- same-day drone delivery. Buy AMZN. Perhaps. I now know that I missed the boat in the late 1990s when a student in one of my investment classes presented a sales pitch for the company.

I did not miss the November notice that Amazon and the United States Postal Service had contracted to provide Sunday deliveries in several markets.

I groaned then and I'm groaning now. When will this need for speed bubble burst? In a way, I'm already offended when merchants assume I must have my order delivered in 2 days, much less offer to ship it overnight for a premium price.

I remember my parents saving for months before replacing a clothes washer. Do you think they would have insisted on 2-day delivery?

Does Amazon expect your latest book order to land on the top of your reading stack, or the pile on your donee's desk? Does it even suspect that you or s/he might already be reading one and have at least another volume or two next in cue?

"I think you may be losing it," says Virginia. "Many, if not most, people don't read books any more."

Okay, I got off track. Have we lost all patience? Are we unable to plan ahead?

I'm sorry, I'm still being a drama king. Neither of those is my real point.

What if every person in the world, or even one-tenth of them, signed on to this same day delivery scheme? Would we have traffic jams of big brown trucks, and drones crashing into front yards?

Energy implications? I'm too myopic to make a reasonable prediction. But oil prices will rise; they'll have to as the supply dwindles -- unless, maybe, it prompts research into alternative sources. Solar-powered drones?

Pray not, irrational exuberance squared? Might 2014 be the new 2008, as the rest of the world joins this rush to ultimately unquenchable self-indulgence?

1 comment:

  1. Not to go all hippy, but overindulging consumerism is a blight on both the soul of humanity and the earth. It,s an addiction, and not only is it legal, it,s encouraged. Our livelihoods depend on it! So this holiday season, be a good citizen and shower more stuff upon your loved ones.

    I think same day delivery is an overshot, and I hope that humanity eventually feels the same. Stuff like that changes what it means to be human-from a steady, solid, and continuous being toward an impulse-driven, high-frequency, entitled god. Hopefully enough empty feelings after big Christmas morning hauls will help correct the overshoot...but if not, I guess it wasnt really an overshoot in the first place.