Who would have thought when Amazon began selling books 25 years ago that they would one day become a seller of, well everything?

But how did they get there? Through a series of smaller, incremental innovations which took them from books to your go-to one-stop shop without even getting out of bed. Now Amazon wants to provide your pajamas too! Amazon recently announced it’s Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe which pairs the concept of subscription boxes with their extensive data and artificial intelligence capabilities to deliver customized clothing items based on your style to your door each month.

At EdgeDweller, we have long used the example of Lifelong Fashion to explain how to make big ideas work. Take a shoe salon as an example. Instead of shopping in person at a shoe store, now you can purchase shoes through your phone or even customize them to your liking. But, using data from your shoe purchases, what if your shoe salon knew all of your fashion needs? You would never have to guess what size shirt you needed or when your clothes have gone out of style. Now Amazon is on the path to knowing what you need, before you even knew you needed it.  

EdgeDweller’s Path to the Future methodology aligns precisely with the steps Amazon has taken to get them to where they are today and how they may continue to disrupt the future.

1- Build an e-commerce infrastructure by selling books

2- Add partners on e-commerce platform that sell clothes

3- Collect data on clothes purchased on e-commerce platform

4- Create Amazon-owned brands of clothing offerings

5- Leverage data and a portfolio of clothing options to build Lifelong Fashion

With each step, Amazon has managed the potential risk of failure in entering a new industry by investing in smaller, incremental innovations that are feasible, safe, and sustainable yet lead to a major, disruptive idea. Follow in Amazon’s footsteps and never look at a big idea as something you can’t accomplish. Instead, use EdgeDweller’s Path to the Future to create a safe path to get there.

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