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Code/red: BezosShack

Plus, iPhone preorders in China; Ashton Kutcher, “Lenovo Product Engineer”; and the Icahn-Andreessen war of words.


Welcome to Amazon’s Unsold Fire Phone Inventory Outlet

“We want to do something that is uniquely Amazon, and if we can find that idea, and we haven’t found that idea yet, we would love to open Amazon stores.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that back in 2012, and now two years later he seems poised to do so. The Wall Street Journal says Amazon plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in New York, ahead of the holiday consumer binge. Just across the street from the Empire State Building, the retailer’s first “traditional” store will initially function as an outlet for same-day pickup of online orders and product returns and exchanges, but Amazon likely has grander ambitions for it as a showroom for its Kindle line of e-readers and poorly received Fire smartphone.

From the Guy Who Just Delayed His IPO

Box CEO Aaron Levie: “Jeff Bezos is opening a retail store and owns a newspaper. Turns out everything we thought about the Internet is wrong.”

Point/Counterpoint: Did I Really Just Say That? vs. Oh My God, I Did Didn’t I?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise. … That might be one of the initial ‘super powers,’ that quite frankly, women (who) don’t ask for a raise have. … It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “Was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise. Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.”

Strategic Business Insight: Apple Watch a Move Into Watches

Apple design chief Jony Ive: “I do see the watch as a move away from consumer electronics.”

Presumably That Makes It the Most Deleted Album of All Time

Apple foisted U2’s new album “Songs of Innocence” upon 500 million iTunes customers worldwide back in September, and since that time 26 million have downloaded it in its entirety and another 81 million of them “experienced” it. No word yet on how many “experienced” the Remove-Free-U2-Album-You-Didn’t-Ask-For tool Apple was forced to provide following consumer backlash over the giveaway.

Tesla CEO Redlines Hyperbole Meter

The Tesla Motors “D” CEO Elon Musk teased on Twitter last week is here. It’s a dual motor, autopilot equipped, all-wheel-drive sedan that packs some serious speed — zero to 60 miles an hour in only 3.2 seconds. “This car is nuts,” said Musk. “It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s bananas. It’s like having your own personal roller coaster that you can use at any time.”

Must Be the Chinese Mafia

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus became available for preorder in China this morning ahead of their Oct. 17 launch and early reports suggest demand for them is quite high. According to Tencent, China’s three largest wireless carriers — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom — processed one million preorders in the devices’ first six hours of availability.

Competition Is for Losers

Peter Thiel: “From the point of view of a founder or entrepreneur, you want your company to always be a monopoly. You want to be offering something to the world that no one else is offering and, therefore, you have some really healthy profit margins around your business. From the inside, I would argue monopoly is always a good thing. That’s what every entrepreneur should attempt to build.”

And We’ll Call the Second Company “Veritas”

Remember Symantec’s $13.5 billion acquisition of data-storage outfit Veritas in 2004? Remember how Symantec’s leadership talked up the convergence of storage and security, describing the deal as “a profound event for the entire industry”? Evidently, it wasn’t quite so profound. Symantec’s splitting itself into two independent, publicly traded companies — one focused on information management. Said CEO Michael Brown, “We really are in two businesses, and there are a lot of disruptive trends in each. The best way to execute better and grow faster is to be separating into two companies.”

“Two and a Half Men” Star Has Important Product Design Observation to Make

Ashton Kutcher, Lenovo Product Engineer: “From the get-go, having not built anything like this before, I had a lot more questions than answers. The first thing I did was go to China to sit down with the team and brainstorm. We felt it was really important with the product to build something that consumers want. We found out that consumers were primarily using it in the home and primarily for entertainment to watch TV and movies. … I think a lot of people think this process is, ‘What you can put in the box?’ But a lot of times it is about what you don’t put in the box.”

Microsoft Discontinues Surface Discontinuation Rumor

So that report claiming Microsoft is discontinuing Surface? Evidently there’s not much to it. According to CEO Satya Nadella, “Microsoft is putting its full and sustained support behind the ongoing Surface program.” A fairly definitive statement, though it’s worth noting that the title of the blog post in which that remark is embedded is entitled “Surface Pro 3 is for Business Especially” and makes no mention whatsoever of that rumored ARM-based Surface 3.

Point/Counterpoint:You’re Behaving Like a Petulant Child, Carl vs. Say Hello to My Inner 6-Year-Old, Mark

Marc Andreessen: “[Carl Icahn] lies, he just makes stuff up. He slanders. … It’s like his inner 6-year-old comes out.”

Carl Icahn: “Andreessen, he’s screwed more people than Casanova, for Christ’s sakes. … Yet, he goes and he takes this attitude that he’s on the high moral ground and he just is as annoying as hell.”

The Suit Alleged That the Defendants Were Responsible for the Complainants Irreversible Blindness

Nancy Flynn, founder of management training company ePolicy Institute: “I was a witness in one class-action case against a publicly traded international company where pornography was so pervasive that a senior executive had hired an assistant whose sole job was to file his porn.”

Off Topic

Puppy Eats Yogurt and Making handcrafted plastic Japanese Food.

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