Thank you Chrono for bringing Reventure to the coin shop!
Aaaaaaaaand it´s gone!
Too late to the draw again, so I missed reventure. To those who got it though, have fun!
Really unfortunate that Reventure sold out so quickly, I got really excited when I saw it was in the email, but all the keys were long gone before I even had a chance again…
Hi friends, anyone who wanted Reventure, but couldn’t get it for whatever reason, please send me a PM
Does being stingy fall within “whatever reason” ? : )
Or being unable to afford it, asking for a friend.
Ya, still eligible
Hi. As I’ve never contributed to the community before, I guess that’s why there is no option to PM you for me.
That’s very nice of you to resolve this to the best of your ability. Thank you. I can’t quite figure out what you get in return, other than people being happier here at Chrono.gg.
These guys are the definition of awesome and customer-focused. It’s like Amazon, but for games.
After receiving my copy of REVENTURE, I proceeded to play the fuck out of it, finishing all 100/100 achievements over the course of the past two weeks. Fun, quirky indie game. Terrible graphics (so bad I legitimately had the OG Mario/Zelda dilemma of: “what is this?”) but the gameplay is sound and the way the game is designed it basically has a built-in tutorial, complete with snark. If the devs ever made a sequel or different game, I would definitely check it out, especially if the art style improved — I truly hate pixel art, so it takes an exceptional game to overcome that hitch.
P.S. To clarify my comment as to why Chrono is like Amazon: every investor in Amazon exasperatedly hopes this’ll be the year Jeff Bezos will try turning a decent profit instead of aggressively expanding/pricing/giving back to the customer…someday they’ll make a bunch of money…someday. Not saying AMZN isn’t profitable, it is, but it usually plows it’s profits back into the customers to give us speedier delivery, free returns, buying its own fleet of planes to save from paying FedEx/UPS, building sorting centers everywhere, and advancing robotic technologies that might be costly upfront but long term saves money. Or testing blimps and drones. [Who knows where the largest online retailer will direct its cash? Certainly not to the investors that helped it grow, that’s the only guarantee.]
and don’t forget selling products at loss just to drive whoever’s not willing to sell their own marketplace to them into either eventually selling to them or simply bankruptcy
as well as offering the same products which stores sell on amazon.com (and which rly do well) at a lower price just to eventually take over that whole market segment as well
they are slowly buying the world, actually; they already overtook many local online marketplaces in plenty of countries all over the world as well
@Shalandir thanks for the review of reventure! I’ve gotten around 20% of the endings myself and I’m quite enjoying it.
However, the fact you non-sarcastically compared lovely Chrono to one of the post-modern world’s most toxic big businesses with notoriously well-known bad business practices, abusive policies and privacy issues broke my heart and genuinely triggered me, though.
No… just no.
People attack Amazon for a lot of reasons, what would be some of their “bad business practices”? Could you elaborate? Also, some of their abusive policies?
And as far as privacy concerns, their AWS are considered the premiere hosting services in the world used by more businesses than any other cloud, due to their speed, capacity, uptime, price, and yes, security. They can’t afford to lose or sell their customer’s data, it would kill their entire business model of being the very best like no one ever was.
They’re not perfect, they do push their employees pretty hard but they also pay them well (nobody makes less than $15/hr, the delivery center near my house in Vegas routinely starts pickers at $22/hr…for a job that requires the capability to walk and read. That’s not exactly challenging).
Also, I am aware they have engaged in questionably low pricing schemes but never predatory pricing — which is actively losing short-term profit to put other companies out of business. Predatory pricing is illegal, and Amazon doesn’t need to conduct illicit business to get ahead: they get ahead by being the most efficient online delivery service with a clean and easy-to-use website, simple checkout, and by far the fastest delivery (and most of the time cheapest). Sure, they price low because they want to attract everyone’s business, but they still turn a meager profit by vertically integrating the entire distribution system and partnering with the most cost efficient suppliers, at scale, across the planet.
We’re talking about a company that has grown from a online bookstore that was laughed at, into one of the world’s largest companies in the span of a generation — Jeff Bezos and his wife worked incredibly hard for the past 25 years with their vision of being able to order anything, anywhere, and have it come to you.
And they are aggressively customer-focused, as I said. You claim you never got an item? Boom, free refund or replacement, they just trust you (until you take advantage of them a few hundred times…). You say you’re a student still after 18 years and want 1/2 price Prime? Eh, they might start to question you a bit about why you’re still in school but they’ll still give you the discount. Claim the item is defective? Replaced. These things all seem commonplace today, but they were NOT standardized in the early days of internet shopping.
I’ve been blessed with growing up on the internet and I remember early days of ‘90s era ordering things — massive hassle, trust and security were nonexistent, credit card info was being transmitted unsecured, return policies were laughable, websites were garbage, shopping carts weren’t ubiquitous, even deceptively simple things like searching for a product was a chore. Amazon rose above the rest and set the gold standard for everyone else to follow.
Again, not saying they are perfect. But they work incredibly hard and I’m not going to attack a company just because it has become successful. It’s not like a struggling mom-and-pop shop is somehow more “morally just” just because it’s tiny. Of course bigger company, bigger problems, but it’s a perception issue: we focus a news cycle on Amazon employees pissing in bottles because they don’t have enough time to run to the bathroom, but if it happened in some smaller company’s warehouse no station picks up the story. [my personal opinion: that’s a convenience issue, guaranteed. They should still be given ample break time for bathrooms/nursing/personal care, but of their 600,000-700,000 employees you only see a couple complaints (maybe even a few hundred? Go ahead, find me 0.1% 600+), so how is it that every other employee is making their quotas and 2-3 sloths that want media publicity go whine to a TV station saying “Bezos makes us piss in bottles!”? Wait, what? Makes you? No. I get that you feel you’re under a tight schedule, but that’s how logistics and transportation networks work. They’ve worked out a system that 99.9% of employees can maintain pace with, not saying they can’t give a few extra minutes of break time but every minute does count when you’re a company that’s now promising 1-day or even same-day delivery.]
TL;DR Amazon is a customer-focused, well oiled machine that is constantly striving to be better, faster, and more cost efficient than their competition. They do this by innovating and vertically integrating, and they are really damn good at what they do. So good, they now handle like 33% of all online shopping I think? So no, not a monopoly, but yes, they are big.
So when I compare Chrono to Amazon, it’s a compliment. Take it or leave it, but it wasn’t meant to offend or trigger.
already did though
then you are misinformed; they did this with the biggest diapers marketplace in the world diapers.com
just a quote:
and calculated that Amazon was on track to lose $100 million over three months in the diaper category alone.
by selling at a loss just to force the others to sell to them or go bust
When Bezos’s lieutenants learned of Wal-Mart’s counterbid, they ratcheted up the pressure, telling the Quidsi founders that [Bezos] was such a furious competitor that he would drive diaper prices to zero if they sold to Bentonville. … The Quidsi executives stuck with Amazon, largely out of fear. The deal was announced Nov. 8, 2010.
What Slate calls “ruthless Titan”, the business world calls savvy negotiator. Of course you make all kinds of threats or cajoling or promises or any other tactic to keep your direct competitor from buying out a company you are both interested in. Do I think he would have “taken the price to zero” as he allegedly threatened? No. That’s ridiculous and never would hold up in court if someone claimed “Bezos said he’d give diapers away for free to put me out of business!”
Which brings us to the second point: When the Diapers.com execs calculated the P&G wholesale prices for them to buy diapers and shipping costs for them to match Amazon’s competition they calculated it as a $100mil loss in diapers alone, yet despite that Amazon posted a $1.152 bil net profit that year, their highest ever up to that point. The supposed “predatory pricing” was investigated and nothing ever turned up, so that means either a) Amazon has a better contract with P&G, b) Amazon was sourcing their diapers from a cheaper supplier than P&G, c) they were shipping diapers for much less than the Diapers.com guys could (very believable), or d) a mixture of all the above. Regardless, it was shown to investigators that Amazon was still eking out some profit, or when they did lose some money on some diaper orders, they were still making money on average with other orders. That year they sold $34.204 bil in sales, yet their $1.152 bil net profit means they barely scraped 3.36% together which is a profit but not very much.
Related to the profit, this comes back to the mom-and-pop question: does size matter? You’ve heard of “economies of scale”, the idea that as a company specializes in something (delivery) and grows bigger and bigger, they should become more efficient than smaller versions of the same type of company. However, usually smaller companies are more agile: they can change tactics much quicker or adapt to a changing customer base and business landscape more quickly than a 600,000+ employee juggernaut. This usually leads to a few key players in an industry, and a lot of other little guys. The 80-20 Principle (or Pareto distribution) helps generalize the way businesses naturally filter out as you’d expect 80% of online sales to be handled on about 20% of online retail sites. Its not like there’s a magical balancing hand that says “oh, you 4 just bought stuff on Amazon/Wal-Mart/eBay, so that means the next sale has to be on a tiny little website”, but it’s something we as humans gravitate towards… Humans do a lot of business on Amazon because people appreciate the convenience of everything being on 1 website, 1 shopping cart, whatever. And they tell others about how awesome Amazon is, so it’s the snowball effect as more and more people use it, it causes more and more people to trust it and also use it. So ultimately, they grew big because we chose to pick them over and over again, billions of times. We made (and still make) Amazon the giant it is by choosing to shop there everyday. [well, not me personally, I’ve ordered from Amazon twice in the past year, but that’s besides the point]
Yet another point, you mention the Amazon algorithms readjusting and undercutting the Diaper.com prices every time they changed theirs…and? Many, many companies price match, if you find it cheaper they will honor the lower price. Amazon just goes one step further and developed the technology to crawl the web efficiently, constantly checking other vendor’s prices and lowering theirs when they can afford to. This saves their customers a step: it doesn’t guarantee the lowest price and sometimes you can find items cheaper than Amazon, but they do try to have the lowest affordable price that they can still make a tiny bit of money from. Call it ruthless, call it savvy, but don’t call it illegal. Far from it, it’s one of the oldest tactics in business, but with a modern twist (pricing algorithm bots). 2+ companies want your business, what’s one way they can get you to shop with them? Price. It’s not the only factor, but it is important.
And finally, regarding John Oliver’s piece on Amazon warehouses, I thought it was funny. He’s a comedian. That’s his job is to make people laugh. His deep dive reports are sometimes informative and educational, but you have to remember his primary motivation — to make us laugh. The biggest complaints in that segment I’ve already covered, other than the loss of jobs in Bezos warehouses due to robots. And that’s on Bezos. It’s his money, his warehouse, if he can design an industrial strength robot that can lift pallets, entire shelves, pick orders, and ship products as fast or faster than a human and they don’t cost him too much to develop, that’s another tedious job a human (that would whine about doing and claim having to piss in bottles to make schedules) doesn’t have to do. Robots in Amazon fulfillment centers should be considered a plus, not a minus. Only in 2019 would a comedian convince the public that “I have a shitty job” and “now I don’t have my shitty job because a robot took my job” are somehow both true.
Maybe it is true that job=bad and robots=jobstealers, but then why work there in the first place if we “know the pay isn’t worth it” and eventually a chunk of metal is going to do the repetitively mindnumbing tasks better than us? And if these types of companies could just spring up overnight, wouldn’t there be a dozen other mini-Amazons offering better wages or more breaks or less robots in their warehouses? It’s not exactly a lucrative sector, 3.3% profit after delivering $10s of billions. Basically every other business type enjoys much better profit margins, from fast food to software to even old school steel mills (most years) or manufacturing facilities. Only Wal-mart, Amazon, and a few other key players even bother trying to compete in the high volume-low margin spaces.
To put this in perspective, even every dollar store (Dollar Tree, Dollar General, 99 Cent Store, 100 Yen stores in Japan, 100 pence stores in U.K., etc.) all of them make better profit percentages than Wally World and Bezos backers. They target a 44% gross profit margin on their dollar items, meaning if they paid a $1 for something they would sell it to us for $1.44 on average, or to keep things clear since everything they sell is $1 that means they pay 69.5 cents each. Then, 73% (22.2 cents of that dollar) of their gross profit goes to the bigwigs at the top: executives and the like. Feel free to look up the numbers yourself: $DG is Dollar General’s stock symbol or $DLTR for Dollar Tree, and there’s others — they are making much higher profits targeting the poorest in society. It’s like that for big publicly traded dollar stores and small, singular businesses within the same sector. I don’t consider that evil, but if we’re playing the exploitation game I’d consider it much more exploitative than anything Amazon has done, ever. And their workers at a dollar store are guaranteed paid less than any equivalent-tier Amazon employee.
It’s not really fair I used gross profit and net profit to compare the two industries, but there is a massive difference and a good reason: investment in the future. Yes, Amazon does have a 22% gross profit margin (still half that of the dollar store industry), but they plow almost ALL of those profits into improving their company, research and development, buying Whole Foods, 200+ jets to compete against FedEx, more robots for warehouses, drone research for package delivery, and a slew of other projects that keep it the best. 97% Invested in the future (Amazon)…or 73% lining executives pockets and 27% to investors (0% budgeted for R&D at dollar stores)? When was the last time a dollar store invented something useful?
I get that there are lots of people that get uneasy when businesses get really big. They should. But sometimes they are big for a good reason, and they deserve to be big and stay big (or get even bigger). If we broke Amazon into 1000 different companies, each a billion dollar company (or so), and then forced them to compete against each other, do you think they’re going to raise or lower employee wages to compete against the other 999? Would they be forced to raise or lower prices to fight against the others? Who would control an Amazon jet from their fleet? Or does each fulfillment center get its own jet? So maybe 100 $10bil companies is better, 2 jets each? What’s the perfect size? Also, what’s going to happen if you break Amazon up? Whether it’s one 1 trillion dollar company or 1000 billion dollar companies, they will tend towards consolidation because despite all the supposed online business humans are conducting, there’s not much money to be made — if at all. We’d probably eventually see 1-2 of them slowly merge/grow their way to the top in another 25 years, and that’s not a doom and gloom prediction, that’s just the reality of how businesses work. We saw this when Ma Bell was broken up and AT&T (one of the shattered pieces) eventually reclimbed back to the top of the 8 pieces because they made the best decisions to invest heavily in cell phone towers, customer service, and R&D tech (literally billions of research dollars to develop GSM/3G/4G technologies). I’m not saying AT&T are perfect but they were always actively better than their competitors, slowly putting them out of business until it’s just 2 companies at the top again: them and Verizon. And yes, T-mobile and Sprint exist, plus a ton of “piggyback carriers”, but Sprint doesn’t count because they continually bleed money and would already be dead if it wasn’t for SoftBank Japanese billionaire money propping then up, and T-mobile is the newest primary carrier in the space and has claimed repeatedly to judges presiding over their merger case with Sprint that they cannot compete against AT&T and Verizon if they don’t combine with Sprint. This is somewhat true: Each carrier has substantially the same costs (price to erect a tower is the price to erect a tower, engineers all get paid about the same, and they all need to cover substantially the same areas of service) so there are very clear breakeven revenue numbers for a nationwide carrier, and even higher if they want to have a chance to invest in quality bandwidth/frequency auctions, invest in R&D for future technologies, invest in spare/emergency coverage, etc. That’s a huge rabbit trail I ran down, but the telecom industry almost by definition has to be a de facto monopoly or duopoly in most countries just due to population size not supporting the sheer costs of a capital-intensive product.
Just because there is a concentration of power in one sector of the economy, that isn’t an imminent danger. That doesn’t mean we should break up AT&T and Verizon again, it just means we should monitor them and scrutinize their actions to make sure they aren’t doing anything rabidly anti-consumer. Like if they both just agreed one day to jack up everyone’s phone bill to $2000/month, clearly that wouldn’t fly. Did somebody say insta-antitrust lawsuit? Clear price collusion if they both did that. Obviously with at least 2 companies that aren’t allowed to collude you can guarantee at least some level of competition, so even if 1 sucks it’s not like the 1 other company can raise rates very high, especially because of a third factor: everyone has similar barriers to entry, so new companies are allowed to form. If both companies continue to provide terrible service at top prices, an entrepreneur will seize the opportunity and start a 3rd company. John Legere is doing a great job at the head of T-mobile, every month he is growing and carving away customers from AT&T and Verizon by offering better service, better prices, or a mixture of both. [I don’t even have T-mobile yet they continue to impress me, I’m rooting for them].
All this comes back to Amazon. They are not a monopoly, not even close. Even if you account for the businesses that have storefronts on Amazon, counting that traffic they’re still not a monopoly.
You want to buy a vacuum online? Buy direct from Dyson.com or another manufacturer, they do millions in business that way. Or Best Buy, they are a huge electronics store that also sell high-end appliances like quality vacuums. Or Target.com, Jet.com/Walmart.com (Wal-Mart bought Jet, but they still keep unique sites and the prices/promotions may be different), or a dozen other region-specific sites. Or go buy it from a physical retailer if it’s cheaper/more convenient. There’s nothing forcing us to use Amazon. Same goes for diapers. Or boardgames. Or whatever. The only thing Amazon truly has a monopoly on is their own products, things like Echo Dots, Fire Sticks, Fire Tablets, even the now-defunct Fire Phone (which sucked if anyone remembers, not everything Amazon touches turns to gold, phones are hard). Many businesses, nothing’s stopping us from shopping elsewhere.
TL;DR - If you don’t like Amazon, shop elsewhere
when u make over a billion on profit that year overall, u can easily afford to lose 100 million on diapers, especially given that that’s basically an investment, since it will eventually lead to you owning the competition, after which yr going to make billions on diapers in the long run
tons of things are “investigated” all the time and nothing turns up “officially”, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; im pretty sure u do have a relatively good idea of what world we live in
slippery slope waiting to happen.
I must’ve missed where this was said. Would you mind pointing it out to me?
I’m curious, what demographic do you believe these jobs are targeted at?
I’m also curious. What is your opinion on the Industrial Revolution and the working class conditions at that time?
Highly recommend all of Stratechery if you are interested in technology and business. Some of the best writing out there.