The founders of the large web properties of Web 1.0 are all gone now save one. Yahoo!’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) chief Yahoo!s have very little to do with the company, although one of them, Jerry Yang, made a brief and troubled attempt to run the company recently. The founders of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and AOL retired a long time ago. Many of the websites that were among the most visited in the US a decade ago have disappeared since Jeff Bezos created Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 1994. Lycos, Excite, Altavista, Infoseek, and Switchboard have either disappeared or are tiny players among the new elite group of Web 2.0 firms which includes Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Part of the power of Amazon, which posted unexpectedly strong earnings up 69% over last year for the third quarter, is that it is fundamentally what it was the day it started—an e-commerce site. It sold books in its earliest days and helped usher in the demise of book stores and book store chains. The core of Amazon’s business has expanded to selling an immense range of products online from consumer electronics to groceries and clothing and gardening tools.
Amazon (AMZN): Innovation’s Reward