In a manner, the two-headquarters story was too good to be true even when Amazon proclaimed it bluntly and at size. “Amazon HQ2 will probably be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America,” the corporate mentioned in its promotional materials. “We count on to take a position over $5 billion in building and develop this second headquarters to incorporate as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs — it is going to be a full equal to our present campus in Seattle.”
As a substitute, whereas nothing official has been introduced and issues might shift on the final minute, it seems HQ2 will rank with the corporate’s proclamation that drones would ship packages. When the chief government, Jeff Bezos, unveiled that initiative on “60 Minutes,” he mentioned the drones would are available “4, 5 years.” That was virtually precisely 5 years in the past.
The drones haven’t taken flight, however many articles about them did. Amazon likewise gained monumental quantities of uncooked publicity from its seek for a second headquarters.
It gained one thing else as properly.
“It’s tempting to roll your eyes at this cleaning soap opera, however Amazon will stroll away from this stunt with a cache of extremely precious information,” mentioned Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Native Self-Reliance, a frequent Amazon critic. “It’s discovered all types of issues from the bidding cities — like their future infrastructure plans — that even their residents usually are not aware of.”
Right here’s what subsequent, she mentioned: “Amazon will put this information to prodigious use within the coming years because it appears to broaden its market energy and sideline the competitors.”
Amazon is at all times increasing its market energy. Take into account a routine information launch it issued Friday: “Amazon Pronounces 14th Inland Empire Achievement Middle in Beaumont,” it mentioned. Achievement middle is a elaborate time period for warehouse. The Inland Empire is an enormous space east of Los Angeles. To construct 14 warehouses there in six years is a feat. Amazon mentioned it was now the most important employer within the area.
Amazon likes to launch information by itself schedule. However the headquarters story leaked out to retailers together with The Washington Submit — owned by Mr. Bezos — and The Wall Avenue Journal. It was a uncommon stumble for an organization that excels at controlling the narrative.
The true narrative, now and at all times with Amazon, is its ambition — typically veiled, typically overt, however by no means absent. The satirical web site The Onion took the current to its logical excessive final month:
“After a seek for a brand new location lasting greater than a yr, a large dome was seen descending from the sky and enclosing the entire nation Friday as Amazon C.E.O. Jeff Bezos introduced to a horrified American populace that it was now dwelling inside his firm’s second headquarters.”