Amazon to Acquire Zappos

Internet giant Amazon.com will acquire Zappos.com in a deal worth more than $800 million, according to an official announcement today. Amazon Buys Zappos for $850 millionAfter growing into an e-commerce behemoth with a legendary customer service record, it comes as little surprise that Zappos was acquired by the likes of Amazon. There really is no better match when it comes to e-commerce, product, service, and technology.

This deal confirms the groudbreaking success that Zappos achieved through widely publicized corporate policies, happy employees, and impeccable customer service which often includes free next day shipping, and always a 365-days-a-year free-return-shipping guarantee. Amazon clearly gains from Zappos ability to literally obsess over customers, be inventive, and think long term (while growing year over year since being founded in June 1999.

Zappos will receive $807 million worth of Amazon stock and $40 million in cash as part of the deal. The purchase price could value as much as $920 million, assuming the deal is for 10 million shares (shares of AMZN opened today at $88.54), according to Sarah Lacy at Techcrunch.

The news comes on the eve of Amazon’s Q2 earnings call and on the heels of heated rumors of an Amazon / Netflix deal.

Huge story here. Watch the video below from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, read the blog post by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and read the official Лаптоп Магазин р лаптопpress release. And let’s discuss!

VIDEO: Citizen Journalism & Social Media Panel at Mahalo 7/13/09

I was honored to be on a panel this Monday with David Sarno (LA Times), Chris Tolles (Topix) and Christina Gagnier (Politech) discussing Citizen Journalism. Thanks to Geoff Brown and Social media Club LA for hooking it up and Alexia Tsotsis (LA Weekly) for moderating!

Full recap at the SCMLA site here.

Thanks to Tyler and Mahalo for hosting and finally thanks to Efren and Techzulu for shooting this video:

Why Call it ‘Breaking’ or ‘Developing’ When it’s Not?

Call me easily perturbed by 24-hour news media shock lingo, but CNN and CNN.com can’t seem to post a story without having an alarming red bar over or under it, indicating either developing or breaking story.

Case in point, when Tiger Woods misses the cut at the British Open it is NOT a developing story. It IS a story and it may warrant being highlighted but there’s no reason to tease readers with the “developing” tag. It happened.

See CNN.com‘s current feature at left (as of 1:55pm PT, 7/17/09), along with my recommendation at right.

 

tiger woods misses cut at british open

 

Posted via web from Andy Sternberg’s posterous

What Happened to Rome’s Bikesharing system?

bikesharing romeOne of the greater curiosities coming out of my short trip to Rome was the seemingly-thriving bikesharing system. I saw dozens of kiosks around the area where we stayed (Trevi Fountain / Campo de Marzio / Via Veneto / La Spagna).

BUT WHERE WERE THE BIKES?!?

Turns out that the original bikesharing company – Roma’n’Bike – folded and was taken over by the government transit company ATAC (which runs the buses and the Metro) on June 3rd. Bikesharing rates were changed, rules were altered, and within a month, most of the bikes disappeared. Blogs like the Italian-language http://bikesharingroma.com are not buying into the idea that this is necessarily theft-related. Based on the terms of the bikeshare, ATAC could charge your credit card 250 Euro within 24 hours of the bike not being returned.

Now perhaps it’s the language barrier or perhaps I’m missing something. Are Rome’s 50-150 bikesharing bikes missing or stolen? Or is the entire program broken? I’ve found few answers online and fewer when I was there.

Continue reading “What Happened to Rome’s Bikesharing system?”

PHOTOS: Rome, Italy July 7-9 2009

The final set of photos from our spectacular seven days of travel to Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii, and Rome. I’ll provide more detail later but want to get all of these photos up while they’re fresh. View the entire collection of Italy photos in my flickr collection, video from the trip can be found here.