Something went wrong: these were the three biggest failures of Jeff Bezos at Amazon

In 2004, Jeff Bezos, the founder of tech giant Amazon, vowed to build “a company on a terrestrial scale.” To do this, he made small investments in building various new companies and technologies.

Amazon also acquired established companies that were already profitable. But many of these businesses have since failed. Here’s a look at what went wrong in the three biggest cases of new failed companiesproducts and businesses acquired from Amazon.

Fire Phone: a failed mobile phone

The Fire Phone was announced by Amazon on June 18, 2014 as a “smart” mobile phone capable of three-dimensional (3D) content. The cell phone was developed by Amazon and manufactured by the Chinese company foxconnwhich also makes the Apple iPhone.

It was Amazon’s first attempt to break into the smartphone market after the surprising success of the tablet. Kindle Fire. Amazon made it available for pre-order on the date of the announcement. For US users, the mobile phone would launch in July 2014 as an AT&T exclusive.

One of the main selling points for the mobile phone was a feature called dynamic perspective. The feature used four front-facing cameras and a gyroscope to track users’ movements which the operating system then adjusted to give a 3D impression.

Other interesting features of the mobile phone included Amazon services known as X-Ray, Mayday and Firefly. Shortly after the release of the Fire Phone, the hype around it began to fade.

Jeff Bezos at the launch of the Fire Phone.

Just two months into the market, Amazon announced that the mobile phone would be available for 99 cents by signing a two-year contract with AT&T, a stark contrast to the initial base price of 650 dollars, which dropped to $200 with the AT&T contract. Amazon had high expectations for the Fire Phone’s performance, likely buoyed by the popularity of its other electronic devices.

Fire Phone and its red hot losses

Yet three months after launch, Amazon had a loss of 83 million dollars. The tech giant later reported a $170 million loss in the third quarter of 2014 due to the failure of the Fire Phone.

While there are many reasons why the Amazon Fire phone turned out to be a complete flop, one of the initial ones was its asking price. Judging by the success of Amazon’s Fire tablets in the past, customers expected an affordable but decent phone that could compete with others in the same rank.

This strategy had worked for Amazon, as its tablets provided a cheap alternative to the Apple iPad. Unfortunately, Amazon aimed too high for the Fire Phone and tried to create a high-end phone with a starting price of $650.

This made the Fire phone another expensive flagship smart phone in the face of fierce competition from Apple and samsung. Despite Amazon lowering AT&T and standard contract prices for the mobile phone in November 2014, adoption rates for the phone remained low.

Fire Phone: the failure of an independent bet by Google

In addition to the unworkable price, the Fire Phone’s unique features weren’t a hit either. For example, the functionality 3D and Fireflywhich allowed items to be scanned and identified, were nothing short of disappointing for customers who expected some real utility.



Amazon seemed to have applied the same formula to its mobile phones when it came to the operating system as it did to its tablets. fire OS it was a heavily customized Android system with no access to major Google apps, including Gmail and Maps.

The operating system was not endorsed by Google like that of other Android smartphones on the market. What Amazon failed to take into account was the popularity of the operating system. Android and Google applications among mobile device users.

Had Amazon used Android’s market share to its advantage, things might have turned out quite differently.. US customers of the Fire phone suffered further inconvenience from Amazon’s deal with AT&T.

While Amazon was marketing the device to all customers Prime, the device could only be sold to those who had signed with AT&T. This was an oversight on Amazon’s part.

The e-commerce giant actually did not need the additional retail support and the diffusion provided by the association with the operator. The deal seemed to go against Amazon’s interests and could be one of the reasons for its failure in the US market.

Amazon Dash Button: a button without much use

Amazon Dash Button was a little piece that made it easier to process repeat orders for certain Amazon products. Their small, compact size made them easy to place on the fridge in the kitchen, on the bathroom shelf, or wherever it’s useful to remind the user to reorder a product.

Also, all I needed was a Wifi connection. Dash buttons were only available to Prime users and cost 5 dollars per piece. There are many reasons that led to the discontinuation of Amazon Dash Buttons.

First of all, the vice president of Amazon, Daniel Raush, said that “the Dash button was an amazing stepping stone into the world of a connected home.” But, while designing the Dash buttons, they didn’t realize that users would need more than 500 buttons in their house for multiple items.

This was possibly the main cause of the failure, as it made the solution less practical. Second, the introduction of the virtual dashboard buttons in the application Amazon Prime it also contributed to the end of the physical dashboard buttons, as it served the same purpose in a more convenient way.

This, combined with the reliance on virtual assistants to sort items, made the buttons obsolete. Third, the introduction of the replacement service de Dash also supported the permanent suspension of Dash Buttons. The service allowed manufacturers of devices, such as washing machines and dishwashers, to integrate replenishment systems into household appliances.

In this way, the appliance system would know when they need replenishment, like detergent in the washing machine, and would automatically pre-order them. There was no need to press a virtual or real button in this case.

Finally, the program Subscribe and Save from Amazon was probably the last nail in the coffin. It allowed users to receive required items on a monthly basis without repeatedly placing an order or searching for them. In addition, the program offered discounts. A Victim of the Dotcom Crash was a pet supplies website of puntcom companies, at the beginning of this century, through which users could order pet products, such as food, accessories and more.

Founded in 1998, the company was headquartered in the Californian city of San Francisco and garnered a lot of attention due to its catchy catchphrase and mascot puppet. He also caught the attention of investors.

One of them was Amazon, which owned 30% of the company. He became highly publicized through a marketing campaign in which his mascot appeared in the company’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Macy’s 1999 and in Super Bowl ads in 2000.

Despite the increase in sales caused by this advertising, the company was losing money every month. This was due to mismanagement issues that had started to appear from the very beginning.

After nine months of incurring losses, was forced to sell its assets and use the remaining funds to repay investors. became one of the most notorious victims of the dotcom bubble which was produced in the 2000s. As of 2020, Petsmart purchased the domain.

The iconic mascot of

The iconic mascot of probably arrived too soon to marketsince many people in the first decade of this century preferred to buy products in physical stores instead of ordering online.

It was also difficult for the company to find cheap ways to send heavy bags of pet food. All of this contributed to the losses it faced on most of its sales, leading to its closure.

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Something went wrong: these were the three biggest failures of Jeff Bezos at Amazon