rogerd - 6:56 pm on Aug 2, 2002 (gmt 0)
I'm not a huge Amazon bull, although I like the stuff they've done with community and intelligent suggestions. I think part of their valuation is purely speculative. However, I also think that if they HAD to be profitable right now, and took an axe to all of their new business development efforts, they probably could be. That's not based on an analysis of their financials, just a superficial look. Ultimately, I think, the question is whether anyone will pay ten cents more to Amazon for a book (or whatever) than to the cheapest guy on the web. At this point, I'd say, their best bet is to focus on 1) efficiency in processing orders and all other aspects, and 2) buying the product as well as or better than anyone else. I think web retailing will end up being completely cost-driven.