For 100 years, Sears ran a platform economy via its Sears catalogue. People spread across vast remote regions could get information about goods & order them for delivery, greatly reducing transaction costs. Sears wasn’t selling stoves, cattle feed, or clothing so much as it was providing information & connecting people.
It shut down its famous mail-order catalogue in 1993. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon the next year, 1994.
How could the giant retailer Sears miss the digital application of their famous catalogue?
Were their executives telling themselves a story that missed future opportunities?
Had they become too proud & complacent?
Is the Sears’ story relevant to Amazon & other businesses?
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