One day after Kickstarter dumped Amazon Payments in favor of San Francisco payment processor Stripe, speculation is circulating that Amazon is building a full-service support system for hardware entrepreneurs.
Extrapolating from recent job listings, Recode’s Jason Del Rey posits that Amazon is building a one-stop platform for creators and startups that would assist them with everything from funding to sales, with the latter being Amazon’s primary goal. Del Ray notes that while many of the Amazon job descriptions appearing over the last few months lack details, a few key phrases provide a lot of clues:
One listing for a senior marketing manager asks, “Are you inspired by inventors who develop and launch new products? Do you want to market the world’s best end-to-end platform for startups? Do you see the opportunity to connect these entrepreneurs with Amazon’s hundreds of millions of customers through creative and strategic marketing?”
Startups and maker culture are now mainstream; heck, President Barack Obama even hosted a White House Maker Faire last year. As Del Ray points out, Amazon sponsored an Indigogo funding contest that kicked off the same day as the White House event. If anything, Amazon may be a little late jumping in the DIY bandwagon. Nobody in Silicon Valley wants to be the next Google blithely ignoring the emerging empire that is Facebook.
Etsy, a crafters marketplace, and Quirky, a startup that help creators build and market their products, are both possible inspirations for—not to mention eventual competitors to—the new operation Amazon seems to be staffing.
Amazon’s impending “world’s best end-to-end platform for startups” might not be wholly unrelated to its recent fallout with Kickstarter. The crowdfunding platform decided to quit Amazon after it phased out its “flexible payments service” in June, a system Kickstarter had used since it launched. Kickstarter declined to move over to Amazon’s new service, Login and Pay, and wrote in a blog post that Stripe provides “a simpler, faster, and easier checkout process” for backers.
As long as we’re speculating, the switch to Stripe means those raising money through Kickstarter don’t have to set up an Amazon Payments account to get their money. And Kickstarter may have a big reason to keep its creators away from the e-commerce behemoth.
Lead photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite