Adam Lashinsky for Fortune:
Then, around 2007, Amazon’s investments began to bear fruit, and investors were delighted. The stock is up 10-fold in the past six years. “We believe in the long term, but the long term also has to come,” says Bezos, explaining that periodically Amazon wants to “check in” with its ability to make money. Thus, in 2007, Amazon more than doubled its profit, to $476 million, on a 38% increase in sales to almost $15 billion.
This one paragraph is perhaps the best way to understand Amazon’s endgame. They’re laying the foundation to make money, but only do so right now to prove the model and then go right back to building.
But 2007 was five years ago. It’s a very different world and Amazon is attempting to play many different games. I think we’ll have to see if the profit switch will be as easy to flick sooner rather than later.