As one of the most widely used websites, Amazon has a pretty good grip on their services and their customer base. However, there is a serious competitor on the horizon. Amazon is on the verge of a war versus Rakuten, a Japanese based Internet company that also happens to be biggest in that country. Rakuten has been one of a few of Amazon’s competitors and has recently taking critical steps to help improve the company to challenge Amazon’s position as the premier e-commerce site in Japan. Led by their flamboyant and ever confident billionaire CEO Hiroshi "Micky" Mikitani, Rakuten assault on Amazon is planned around an eBook, Kobo.
As the third largest eCommerce marketplace company globally, Rakuten bought recently bought Kobo for $315 million. Mikitani, unorthodox in his business practices and ever the showman, taunted his American competitor by wearing a shirt that read “Destroy Amazon” at the unveiling of Kobo. Amazon’s Kindle remains one of the most popular eBook and Kobo is directly aimed at challenging that market and eventually Amazon’s stake as the world’s largest e-Commerce marketplace. Mikitani, who has seen several of his business ventures fail, seems very adamant and determined to defeat Amazon at all costs.
What do you think of Mikitani’s ambitious plan? Will his strategy of publicly calling out Amazon work? What lessons can aspiring businesses learn from his bravado and market plan?