Amazon’s pharmacy is about to shake up the drug biz

Amazon Pharmacy has landed

Amazon announced Amazon Pharmacy — a service that will deliver subscriptions to your door. Prime members will receive free shipping and discounts of up to 80% on generics. Shares of Walgreens-Boots Alliance, CVS, Rite-Aid, and GoodRx tumbled on the announcement. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Remember when Walmart was the company that caught all the attention for wrecking existing businesses? Amazon Pharmacy will take a bit bite out of the established pharmacy business, and to Amazon’s credit, where were the big pushes by CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and others to nail down the direct-to-consumer business over the past couple of years? Expect Amazon to gobble up a significant share of the prescription business over the next year.

Apple blinks

The battle between Apple and many other software firms that don’t want to pay the App Store tax of 30% took an interesting turn when Apple announced that it was halving its take on transactions to 15% for companies grossing less than $1 million. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: If this small gesture is expected to mollify the likes of Facebook, Epic Games, Spotify, or the U.S. Justice Department, Apple will be disappointed. The issue at hand is whether or not the two app stores constitute a duopoly. But all sales channels charge a percentage of sales, so where does the DOJ draw the line? The fact that Apple is making some moves on its own may signal that the company wants to get in front of legislative actions.

Work from Home must be done correctly, says Harvard Professor

Professor (Raj) Choudhury has been studying remote organizations since before the pandemic. He says that in order for a company to properly implement a remote model, it must: i., seek the best talent wherever they are, and allow them to work wherever they wish, ii., not implement work from home models primarily to save in real estate costs, iii, must decentralize the C-suite, lest middle managers congregate in a physical office to get their share of face time, iv., stop measuring performance based on inputs of time, but, instead, on results. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Many companies have been virtual for many years, and have stopped thinking about locations as being key to their culture. If the best people make the best businesses, then they will thrive wherever they are. The post-COVID world will find a number of stodgy, office-centric companies trying to reinvent their culture into a “work anywhere” culture in order to compete for talent. Meanwhile suburban and resort real estate prices continue their COVID run-up.

Chinese smartphone giant Oppo bets on AR

Oppo is betting nearly $8 billion on developing everyday AR tools. The company, one of China’s largest smartphone makers, has developed glasses that are thicker and heavier than normal glasses, but not as awkward as wearing your smartphone on your face in a SCUBA-mask like configuration that U.S. makers like Oculus and Korea’s Samsung have offered.  The company hopes to leverage 5G technology to provide mobile experiences unlike anything on the market. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: A common application of augmented reality (AR) that appeals to a mass audience, is yet to arrive, as core gamers have been the consumer targets for the technology thus far. If Oppo can create mass appeal for AR, expect China to take a lead in the race for developing “the next big thing” for smartphone technologies, leaving Samsung and Apple to play catch up.