The new company town

2018-12-17 1 min read

    A few months ago I read an article describing Amazon’s potential move to offer home insurance. The premise is that Amazon is incredibly strong operationally and both their integration of Echo into all things home and their acquisition of Ring gives them valuable signals that the typical insurer does not have.

    I couldn’t help but think back to the 19th century where companies were large enough to own all the property in a town and have their employees live there. As one can imagine it was extremely exploitative since you had the company that paid you also collect money from you for your housing. They died down in the 20th century but this feels like a step in that direction. We’re clearly not all going to work for Amazon but the idea of having a single company vertically integrating around our lives seems a bit dystopian.