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Competing with Amazon... finding a better reason to buy stuff.

Of course. I have big plans to create a business that Amazon can't touch. Yes,... I am a fool. 

Max Niederhofer: The Amazon "kill zone" in DTC, 2018-Oct-4

So what's Amazon not good at? Where do startups have an edge? Because Amazon certainly has structural advantages in scale, capital, data, and probably people.

Right now, it looks like the advantage lies in "the other ways in which people want to shop." Whether it's through their friends, by following an influencer, by falling in love with the narrative of the brand, by joining a community of like-minded, passionate individuals for whom the brand is their joint expression of belonging.

That emotion is not "Amazon" at its core.

Extending this "authentic emotional connection" micro-thesis a bit, it suggests a playbook that looks fairly different from many of the DTC brands that we're seeing in the market. Most important, perhaps, is the experimentation at the early stage that looks at what helps people fall in love with your product. What gets them to not just want to join, but want to build your community? As Rebecca notes, what causes them to set up Facebook groups, ask for swag, refer their friends, come back to buy again and again?

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