In the category of the just plain cool, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos shows us that huge companies can innovate and think big- really big. As many of you know, Jeff Bezos is an entrepreneur hero of mine. I love the way he thinks, I love the way he invests into long term visions, and I love the way he quietly creates new approaches to eCommerce that are solely aimed at delighting his customers. Well, he has not disappointed with his announcement over the weekend that Amazon will be trying to launch package delivery drones, called Amazon Prime Air, over the next 2-5 years.
Take off your tinfoil hats and turn down your fear volume for a second and look at the potential benefits here. Items under 5 lbs. delivered to your door within 30 min. of an online order. That is simply cool! The fact that Amazon would think this big and bold is impressive and inspirational. Once we see UPS, Fedex, Soap.com, Walmart and others doing the same thing down the road, I can see this being really something special.
Consider those awesome futuristic scenes in Star Wars, the 5th Element or Blade Runner, where you have cities filled with flying cars. Each buzzing around with their cargo. Can you see this being the first step to such a world? I mean, what a better way to work out the logistics of highways in the sky, than with drones flying around delivering goods. I mean, if they get in a crash, it’s not that big a deal. Nobody dies. A package will be resent, but considering what happens when an airliner goes down, this is no big deal at all. A perfect arena to work out the substantial kinks that are inevitable when trying to build the rules and modes of transporting people. A perfect first step. Also, think of having items delivered to you while you’re out camping. A Hunger Games-style product floating down from a hovering drone. Think of those with physical disabilities that need medicine (oh, can you say ‘drug pirates drones’?) brought to their house. We’ve just heard the announcement and the cool applications are really inspiring.
Granted, they will have to make it cost effective, work through weather trouble, help people get over their fear of drones buzzing around, build more warehouses and extend the range of package carrying drones (they anticipate they will start out delivering 10 miles from their almost 100 current warehouses) but the service would bring so much more fun to the already-Christmas-like-feeling that people get now when a package is delivered. Sure, lots of wrinkles and ‘drone drawbacks’ (TM pending) still need to be worked out, but I love the big thinking that can add a lot of fun and convenience to online shoppers.
Take a look at Amazon’s intro video and tell me what you think. Cool or creepy? Tons of potential applications or dead-on-arrival?