Amazon.com bought Zappos, the beloved online retailer of shoes, for $920 million, mostly in stock. Amazon's announcement was as direct as its business model; while reporters were calling the company in vain, CEO Jeff Bezos was dishing via YouTube.
Bezos' video, above, was directed not at the press or even customers but at Zappos employees, who Bezos presumably wants to keep firmly in place through the acquisition and integration of the company. The CEO of Zappos, meanwhile, did his talking on the company blog.
Bezos cut out the middleman — the press, in this case — big time. And why not? Instead of having to answer boring financial questions, Bezos got to pontificate on Amazon's history, ostensible focus on its customers, and on his management philosophy. The manic laugher would never have been able to sermonize like this in the Wall Street Journal.
UPDATE: And of course there's a downside, which is being mocked by the likes of Fast Company's David Lidsky. Lidsky's funny satirical liveblog of Bezos' video is here.