How do you amass every detail you want about every city in the United States, without having to do the research yourself?

Let other people give it to you.

Information has always been a key business advantage, and solid, exclusive information is expensive. Businesses pay hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars commissioning reports, paying consultants, and researching to achieve a critical business intelligence edge. And Amazon may have just put itself out of reach, in a much smarter way.

You’ve probably read by now that Amazon’s yearlong search for their second headquarters has came to an end with the surprise decision to split the headquarters into two destinations: NYC and Arlington, VA. This is a huge boon for those two cities with billions in investment and thousands of high-paying (and highly in-demand) jobs.

The carrot of Amazon coming to town was just too much for nearly every elected official in the country, since Amazon went to every major city in the country, and they offered up elaborate pitches to get Bezos & Co to land in their backyard.

“Here are all of the things that are valuable about our city.”

“Here is the opportunities of coming here.”

“Here are all of the demographic reasons for coming here, and what they mean for purchasing power…”

“Here are the average traffic times during all hours of day if you put your office here, or there, or…”

“Here are the airports and their capacities..”

“Here is where you can test drones for delivery…”

You get the idea.

Amazon went around the country to figure out exactly how it can expand in each market, how to prioritize their growth and development of services, and how to make sure that it can outmaneuver any competitor that might come its way.

When you think about it, it’s brilliant. Amazon is getting so big that merely its presence can shift the fate of an entire area. Amazon’s employees are also loyal Amazon consumers, and ensuring 25,000 well-paid jobs in both NYC and the DC area allows Amazon to ramp up its business and logistics in two huge markets without risking a missplaced investment.

Of course, there are other benefits. Amazon’s finances rival any major bank, so you need to be where banking and accounting talent is plentiful. As Amazon crosses over to more industry verticals, they will need increasing political presence to avoid the eventual push of deregulation from Congress (which should come if we’re being honest here). Friends with deep pockets, friends in high places.

No matter how you look at it though, it was a great PR coup. When they released their top 20 list officials doubled-down and media gobbled it up. Mayors had dreams of re-election and treasurers of balanced budgets. The announcement was anticipated with baited breath. Everyone wanted to know, and like a lottery player, everyone had the thought of “what if” cross their mind.

That’s the reality of the world we live in: it can be golden when Amazon smiles on your city. And no one knows that better than Amazon.



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