Amazon Lambda now accepting SQS events directly (nearly)

Amazon has closed the gap between Lambda and processing events directly from SQS, opening up a world of possibilities.

This week Amazon announced that they finally closed the gap between it’s oldest service, Simple Queue Service (SQS) and their push into serverless computing, Lambda.  In other words, you can now write Lambda functions (Java, JavaScript, Go, Python, C#), point them at an SQS queue and have them processing events off the queue all without worrying about supporting a complex server environment.

Anyone in the cloud architecture or microservices business will be excited at this long overdue evolution of the Lambda ecosystem.   When Lambda was first introduced, the idea of having functions hanging out there in the cloud, just waiting to be executing based on some sort of condition was very exciting.


An aside

As any seasoned architect will tell you, one of the secret tools of a good scalable architecture is liberal but strategic use of queues.

A queue allows you to decouple components from one another to the point of where downstream execution can be many magnitudes later, making the overall resilience of the platform much stronger at the same time as far more scalable.  For the sake of a quick illustration, imagine two components that are tied together.  One has to process an order, and the other is responsible for emailing out the confirmation.  You may split these up into two different services and when the order has been completed, you could make a RESTlet call to the service to send out the email.   But what happens if that email service is no longer there, or returns an error?   Now you have to start developing retry logic and figure out what state you want to leave that order with respect to the customer.

Instead of a strong coupling like this, the better solution would be a queue between both components, where the ordering service would place a message on the queue that the email service would pick up at a later date to process, resulting in an email going out.  If the email service is down, then no problems, the queue can still accept events and will store them until such times the email service can process them.



When I first started dreaming of using Lambda it was for queue processing.  There was many times that the amount of business logic required to process queue’s would have fitted wonderfully well within the Lambda environment, all without having to worry about standing up containers or EC2 instances.  However, I had to keep dreaming because this was not available at the time of Lambda launch – one of the most obvious use-cases of Lambda and Amazon made us wait nearly 4 years for it.

The wait is over and now we can start using Lambda for some serious queue related applications.  Yes, you can put some quite meaty processing behind each event on a queue and that will make architectures much easier to manage and scale, but the real power behind this development is actually in making some quite sophisticated event routing applications.

woodleywonderworks @

Imagine taking a source event from a given queue and then deciding, based on its contents, which additional queues it should be placed on for parallel processing.   Take the example of the order system in the sidebar; the email service is not the only service that should know about an order being complete, there could many others in the enterprise that could benefit from that information, for example fulfillment, accounting, warehouse to name a few.   A Lambda function could take that order from the queue, and decide quickly which other queues should have a copy of that event.

Such routing design patterns are common and historically you’ve either had to use some non-cloud technology to perform these, or grown your own.   This Lambda tie-up simply reduces the amount of infrastructure required to support such a design.

but wait

While the wait is over, Amazon has not made it as clean as I would have hoped.  There is a little sting in the tail and it gives a little clue as to how they are providing this service under the covers.

One of the shortcomings (though I understand why) of SQS is that it requires the client to do a long-poll to determine if there is events on the queue to be processed.   In other words, you had to keep making an HTTPS call “do you have any events for me?” and while the call would wait for a period of time before returning back, you had to do this all the time.   Each call to SQS, yes, you were getting charged for it.

For large systems that have a constant stream of messages coming through, this cost is negligible, but for systems with sporadic bursts, this overhead could be costly and above else, in-efficient.   Traditional messaging systems, would keep a constant connection to the messaging service and events would be delivered down the wire instantly.

To minimize this overhead, it is not uncommon to have one consumer of a queue who would do the polling and then pass out the work to a battery of internal threads.  This is an environment where you would have a server handling queue event processing that was capable of executing multiple threads at once.

The Lambda world however, is serverless, so you have to forget about the underlying platform of real servers that Amazon manages for you to give you this illusion of serverless computing.   Since they charge only for the function execution, as far as you are concerned you are allowed to forget the underlying server.

SQS has not changed its behavior.  You still have to poll to retrieve messages and this is what Lambda is doing under the covers for you.  However this time, you have no real control over the amount of consumers that will be running up that SQS bill for you, particularly if you have come off of a very large volume of events that Lambda scaled out to execute in parallel all those events.

No doubt Amazon have thought of this and will be monitoring the situation and taking the necessary steps to reduce this overhead.   In an ideal world, they would figure out a way for the Lambda service to have a continuous direct connection (think websocket for queues) to the SQS service so when an event came in, they could instantaneously hand it over to a Lambda function for execution.

in the meantime

Until that time, this is a huge step forward and makes the use of serverless computing even more attractive as design out the next generation of cloud solutions.

You can do more reading here from Amazon’s official blog.


The Gemini PDA 2018; hands on review

After a few weeks of usage, learn what makes this Psion revival a wonderful addition to the Android smartphone world

Before there was the smartphone there was something called the personal digital assistant or PDA.  This was usually a miniature looking computer, complete with display and keyboard that would fit into your pocket and instantly be available for work as soon as you opened it’s case (back in a time booting a laptop was a coffee making moment).

Psion_Series_3aI was a huge fan of the original Psion organizer, with a particular fondness for the Series 3.  It was a revolutionary device for its time, combining the size of a modern day smartphone with a keyboard that was nearly-almost usable.  Ironically, or horrifying by today’s standards, it had no network connectivity.   You could shove an RS232 cable into it and transfer data (who remembers zModem??) or if you were a real trendsetter you could shell out for the original Psion modem to connect you on the move.   It is ridiculous to think of a device with such limitations, but 25 years ago this was the cutting edge in mobile computing.

Gemini PDASo you can imagine my joy when I learned of the Gemini PDA, from Planet Computers in the UK, that they had partnered up with the original designer of the Psion PDA to produce an Android version of the popular clam-shell PDA.   I put my order into the Indiegogo crowd sourced site just before January 2018 and patiently waited for my unit to be built and sent to me – hoping of hopes they would not hit any snags before getting it over the line.

They made it.  It arrived a few weeks ago and after spending some time with it, I feel I can speak to its strengths and weaknesses with a little authority.

2018-05-04-08-35-46.jpgThe unit itself feels solid and weighty.  Not weighty, but a quality heavy.  There was a familiarity to it that brought back a huge smile – holding it, sizing it up, felt like I was holding my original Psion.

Flip open the case, revealed the beauty that lay within – a high definition color display and a keyboard that was ready for even the fattest of fingers to start tapping.   Closing the case again, had that wonderful spring-clam magnetic feeling.

By all accounts this is an Android smartphone, with a keyboard permanently attached.  The unit came with 4G and WiFi, including a camera.  It had the necessary SSD slot to increase storage, bluetooth, USB-C charging and everything else you would expect from a modern day iPhone/Samsung device.

Getting started was quick and easy – popped in my SIM card from Verizon, logged in with my Google account and within 5 minutes, I was up and running with all my apps installed magically from the Google borg.

It just so happened that the week the device arrived, was when the World Snooker started, a 19 day event that captures me annually.   The Gemini PDA was now my snooker source, allowing me to test both battery longevity, screen resolution and speaker quality.

On the battery front, the Gemini PDA did probably better than my Samsung S9+, even though I was streaming over WiFi for most of the day.  While it lasted longer, I did note that it took significantly longer to recharge the device (now that said, I know the S9 has made big strides towards rapid charging so probably not a fair comparison).

2018-05-11 08.57.33.jpgThe screen was beautiful, crisp clear and responsive.  It is fully touched screen and didn’t have any issues with the usual pinch’n’zoom and all the usual pawing one performs on a smartphone.

The speaker quality sadly was a let down.  It sounded tinny with a complete lack of bass.  I thought it first to be just the BBC stream, but after playing many a YouTube video, it never got any better.   Though, pair it up with bluetooth speakers and no problems, so clearly the physical speakers installed are not the best.

But speaking of that, one has to remember that this device is retailing at $599, fully loaded. That is significantly less than the Samsung S9 or Google Pixel.  While it is easy to be a bit sniffy about various items, the price point I feel is pitched just right, cutting corners where needed.

2018-05-04-08-36-28.jpgIt comes with the latest Android which has been modded a little to accommodate the Gemini hardware.   There is a couple of Gemini specific keys that will pop up a utility bar with quick-access functions, this was handy, but frankly after a period of time, just got in the way.

Now for the keyboard.  The very thing that makes this device stand out from the crowd.

The keyboard is wide enough that you can’t use it with your 2 opposing thumbs, and you can forget about using it in one-hand.  Just not that type of device.   Once put on a flat surface, the keyboard comes alive.  Solid, follow-through, satisfying travel and click in each key button with instant feedback on the screen.   My fingers are of a slim nature that I could type relatively fast.  My only frustration with it, was the space-bar, it is offset from the middle a little that I kept missing it with my right-thumb. The keyboard is slightly smaller than my travel bluetooth keyboard I use with my tablet/phone but not small enough that makes it unusable.

2018-05-11 08.57.19.jpg

Overall the device is a wonderful addition to the smartphone world and while I don’t think there is a huge mass appeal, it will be useful for those that need more than just a media-player from their mobile device (oh did I say it is also a phone?).   I think the biggest issue with the device is that Android is just not geared up to be in permanent horizontal/landscape mode.  There are too many apps that just don’t know how to handle this viewing mode which has the knock-on effect of hiding a lot of in-app functionality.

While the device can by used in portrait mode, it feels so wrong when you hold it like that with a keyboard hanging off the side.

So setting that aside, I am a huge fan of the Gemini and the mission statement that Planet Computers are making with this device to the market place.  I hope they sell enough units to make them profitable and to continue development.  The company is still young and desperately needs more support from the community to help round out some of the rough edges that the more mainstream Android forums usually provide help with.

Overall, a wonderful nostalgic trip back to a time there was a real difference between a PDA and a phone, but not quite ready to become a single device to replace my current Samsung S9.   Instead, relegated to a secondary device to throw into the carry bag for long trips or meetings.

Solid machine, worth the money.


3 simple guidelines to protect our ever connected ‘smart’ device universe

As we become more beholden to companies to keep our smart devices functioning long after purchase date, I propose 3 guidelines to address this imbalance and risk.

Smart devices. They are everywhere. Even if you don’t read a single online article, a walk around your local BestBuy, Target or Walmart you can’t but help seeing the growing aisles of devices promising to make your life that little bit easier.

From thermostats, garage doors, security (?) cameras, door locks, bulbs, wall outlets, dimmer switches, drip-monitors to even smoke-alarms they are all vying for our attention in our Internet connected world. This is before we get to the countless consumer devices, like the swarm of voice activated plastic towers (yes, i am looking at you Amazon and Google), baby-monitors to pet-monitors (and one where you can play laser tag with your kitty while you are away). I could go on, but I think you get my point — everything is getting the Internet-Of-Things treatment.


Back in the day, we bought a device, plugged it in, and it performed the duty it said on the box. No fuss no nonsense. No apps to install, no Wi-Fi to configure, no 3rd party service to sign-up to and blindly agree to the terms’n’conditions. No matter what happened to that company or to the network, the device would still do what it was meant to do. I still have the same music deck that I went to university with over 28 years ago. However, as I look around at the various devices I have been seduced into buying, I wonder if they will make it past the year, let alone generational.

We are increasingly relying on a whole ecosystem to stay alive for our devices to be useful. Alexa becomes an ornament when the Internet or Amazon is down. Nest is just a wall-light when Google has a problem. It is not limited to the company staying in profit, we also have to be nice to the company, just in-case they lock us out as a punishment (see the story of the Garadgetsmart locking out a poor reviewer from their own home).

What if a company changes direction? Your investment in all these gadgets are now at risk (Logitech has decided that Harmony Hub is no longer viable bricking a whole bunch of universal remotes).

I have my own personal story — I was locked out of my own home because Tesla put out a software upgrade and broke the garage opener functionality that I was relying on. Two weeks later it was all back to normal after a fix to fix the fix.

Every morning I wake up and if things are still working then it is a good morning — it could all change in a second as each device relies on power, network, service and reliable software. Way too many factors — it is amazing the bloody thing works at all.


We need far more redundancy and stability in this ecosystem. We need confidence in the devices we are buying.

With that I am proposing are the following three guidelines for a consumer charter:

  1. Initial cost $0
    Hardware that relies on a back-end to function, should be free ($0) to purchase. Charge a small monthly subscription to cover all costs.
  2. Minimum 5 year life from date of purchase
    Full refund if the device stops performing it’s duty within 5 years due to a company changing direction. This should be backed by an insurance policy that the company takes out to cover in-case of insolvency.
  3. Open Platform
    Let devices be controlled by a 3rd party solution. Open up your API’s to allow alternatives to take over should you fail to do yours. Allow me to manage everything from one portal.

We need to get a handle on this. We are investing huge sums of money into an industry that is predicated on obsolescent and we’re being held hostage to the whims of a corporate entity whose only goal is to squeeze as much profit from us as possible.

Next time you are about to buy that smart device, read the small print, see what relationship you are entering into, the risk you are taking on and ask yourself if the brand you see before you will still be around in 2, 5, 10 years time.

Otherwise, you just might be buying a pretty piece of plastic art.

Update 5th Dec: Google have disabled YouTube on Amazon’s Alexa Show product.  YouTube on Alexa was a heavily marketed reason to purchase the voice-activated assistant.  Another area where the consumer has little to no recourse on the functionality disappearing from their product.  Imagine your microwave suddenly refusing to reheat your pizza because of a legal dispute.  This is our new world.

Orlando-Richmond :: A 1600 mile Tesla story

After a 1600 mile roundtrip journey in my Tesla, I have fallen in love with road trips again, even with the overhead of charging.

I have just completed a 1,600 mile round trip from Orlando, Florida up to Richmond, Virginia.  Up on a Friday, back down again on a Sunday, with each trip taking approximately 15hrs.   While I have had my Tesla Model S P85D just over 2 years now, the longest journey I had done to date was Orlando to Key West with my son and cousin at the new year (which is a whole different story for another day).

One of my dreams is to put my hand in the Atlantic ocean, then drive over to the Pacific ocean and put my other hand in that – the great American road trip.   So while I build up to that, I decided to do a run up and down to Richmond Virginia, to see how well things worked out.



There wasn’t much pre-planning that was required, aside from charging up phone and loading up my tablet with YouTube music videos and audiobooks.   I have done this journey a number of times in a conventional gas powered vehicle, taking anywhere from 10hrs to 14hrs depending on traffic, with usually only 2 stops for filling up the tank.

An electric car is a different animal – I have a maximum range of 253 miles when fully charged and it takes just shy of 2 hrs to reach that level.   So a quick back of the envelope calculation (800 / 253 = 4 charges required) it is looking like an extra 8 hrs to the journey.

That said, depending on your driving style (Vin Diesel vs. Mrs Daisy), air-con temperature, auto-pilot etc, your effective range mileage will vary.  This all has to be factored in when planning your journey.  Fortunately Tesla makes this a complete breeze.

Tesla provides a whole network of what they call Supercharger stations.  These are dotted all over with more being added weekly.   They are free to use for people that purchased their Tesla prior to 2017 (aka me!) and are approximately every 120-150 miles apart on the major highways.



Using the in-car Google powered navigation, you tap in your destination and then the route is calculated to go via the necessary supercharger station to get you easily to your destination.  There is a little magic to be sprinkled here.

So when charging a Tesla (or any battery for that matter), you can charge the battery quicker the emptier it is.  In other words, you can throw more power at an empty battery and as it fills up, you reduce the power as it reaches 100%.   Tesla can recharge your battery up to approximately 60% full, at a supercharger station, in approximately 20 minutes.

Instead of the route navigation assuming you are charging up to full battery each time, it only calculates how long it needs to charge you to get you to the next supercharger station.   This is genius and saves a lot of time.     In my instance, it calculated I needed to visit at least 5 supercharger stations, with only a 20-30 minute wait at each one.

Fantastic – no impatient waiting for hours at each stop.

Charging Stations

I took a small cooler case with water and grapes, filled up with ice and started on my journey.  First stop was 2 hrs away at St Augustine, which was 5am by the time I reached there.


The location of the supercharger stations are usually within a mile from the main highway.   Sometimes they can be a little further, Savannah airport one was 6 miles off the beaten track.   They are usually tucked in the parking lot of a mall or a hotel.  They are very easy to spot with their 2001 monolithic white rectangle standing guard over the parking bay.


You simply reverse in, get out, plug in, and you are now charging.  Nothing needs to be done.   The onboard computer knows you are plugged in and takes over all the know how.  No credit-cards, no keying in, no buttons to press, it couldn’t be any easier.

I have not yet had the situation where I have had to wait for a bay to become available, though I suspect this will be more congested once the Model 3 hits the roads (though those users have to pay to charge, so that may keep the usage down a little).


When the supercharging first starts it goes through a series of tests to see how much juice your battery can tolerate at once.  To that end, it initially throws out some wild estimations as to how long it needs to charge, but give it 5 minutes and it will settle down to what the navigation system predicted.


Now, as noted before, this is not an exact science.  So if your next charge point is say 120 miles away, it will give you at least a 170 miles in the tank, just incase.   This buffer amount is generous and I frequently rolled into the next charging station with at least 50 miles on the clock.


If I was brave, I could have disconnected the charging earlier than the dashboard prompted.  I kept an eye on it and I noted I could have reduced my charge time by 5-10 minutes at some stops.   But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

At first I thought the charging would frustrate me.  It turned out to be a small blessing.   It broke down the journey into segments of maximum road time of 2.5hrs at a time.  This afforded me the luxury of getting up and walking (I managed to still get in my 10k steps even with a 15hr road trip), restroom visit and general movement.  One of the nice side benefits of stopping is talking with fellow Tesla drivers, trading stories and wishing them the best on their next stop.  You play the game of looking at their tags and marveling at how far they have come.  I met a number of far flung drivers and traded a few minutes of good will chat.

If you do take a walk away from the car, you can keep an eye on your mobile app that will tell you when the car has reached its charge.   This feature cannot be overstated.  It was extremely useful for the times I was sitting in Starbucks checking email to know when to pack up and head back.

I arrived more refreshed than I have historically on my gas-powered trips.


The drive

Enough of the charging, let us talk of the drive itself.  This is no ordinary car you are driving.  You are driving a car that every other automobile manufacturer is attempting to catch up to.   Much has been talked about on the Auto-Pilot of Tesla and let me tell you on the open highway is where it excels.

20170716_122416Adaptive Cruise Control

The first toy in the box is adaptive cruise control.  This is where you set the speed you want to drive at, and then it will drive at that speed, adjusting the speed depending on the car in-front.   In other words, if you set it at 70mph (and why would you ever set it any higher!) and the car in-front slows down to 20mph then you will slow down to that speed and then speed back up again when it is safe.

This works very well, especially in highway traffic when there is a tendency by hot-heads to cut in front of you.   The car slows down accordingly, lets the hot-head in, and then speeds back up when the safe distance has been met.

There was a very heavy thunderstorm in Georgia, where visibility was next to nothing, I couldn’t even see the car in-front.  However, my car could see (presumption using radar) and by using the adaptive cruise control, I could confidently be kept a safe distance from the car in-front, even though I couldn’t even eye-ball it.

I can’t tell you the amount of times this feature saved an accident, whether it was heavy rain, or assholes cutting into spaces they shouldn’t, or people in-front suddenly stepping on the brakes.   While you do keep an eye on the road, you do have a tendency to daydream on long journeys.   You know the state – you are looking at the road, but you aren’t really paying that much attention.

Another great usage of this feature is when traffic gets snarled up and you have to crawl forward at a snail’s pace.  You don’t have to worry moving the car forward and then hitting the brakes.  It does all this automatically.  This was beautiful.


So the next step up from adaptive cruise control, is auto-pilot.  This is where the car will do the steering and stay in the lane, automatically steering for you.  At first it takes a little getting use to, allowing the car to steer itself.   You sit there, feet off the pedals (because the car is controlling the speed), and hands off the steering wheel (because the car is steering), it takes a lot of faith that it is going to do what it needs to do!

Now, Tesla doesn’t want you to disengage completely.  So it will prompt you to touch the steering wheel every so often.  If you fail to do that, then it will disengage the auto-pilot and you will be punished by not being allowed to re-enable it until such times the car has come to a complete stop for a few minutes.

In reality, this just takes a little nudge.  I found if I rested my elbow on the side of the door and rested my hand lightly on the steering wheel at the 10pm position (you know, the cool look) this was enough to fool the software into thinking that I was in control.   Usually it was around every 1-2 minutes it would prompt me.

A nice feature that works very well is lane changing.  If you decide you want to change lane, then you simply indicate your intention, and once the car has determined it is safe, it will change lane for you.  This is extremely unnatural at first, but once you have faith, you will discover it is the best feature you could possibly ask for.

So a large part of my drive, was simply indicating to change lane.   That was as much thinking as I had to do.   Keeping up with traffic streams was a breeze.

Now the biggest benefit of letting the car control the speed, was the efficiency of power usage.  Tesla has a number of displays, so you can see when you are pressing the accelerator (using more power).  You do this far more than you realize, resulting in a lot of small surges that are not really necessary.   Lot of battery wastage.

By letting the car do the speed, it will not be heavy on the right foot.   I did a few experiments and discovered I could never drive as efficient as what it could.   In a given 2hr segment this could mean up to an extra 20 miles in the tank.

Onboard Entertainment

A quick note to the on-board entertainment.  The car is connected to the Internet under its own bandwidth (no piggy backing on your phone’s network).   So in addition to the basic FM/AM radio, and USB playback, you have streaming from Tune-In/Streaming and of course bluetooth.

I listen to a lot of BBC content and it was nice to tune into BBC Radio 2 in the UK.  For the times I didn’t do that, I would listen to a podcast (via the car), and after that, I would resort to listening to YouTube videos from my tablet via bluetooth.

Keeping an eye on the cops

So we all know the only reason people use Waze is to be notified of upcoming speed traps.  As you may know, Tesla come with a full web browser.  One of the coolest and most useful websites is

This is basically a view of Waze designed for the Tesla web browser, updating in real time for any upcoming hazards or police cars that happened to be parked at the side of the highway.   I had this up all the time at the bottom of my screen, with the navigation on the top.  Let’s just say, on the whole 1,600 mile journey, Waze never missed a single cop.


I arrived in Richmond, 15 minutes before the navigation route estimated some 15hrs ago.  I hit traffic, I hit some roadworks, I hit weather.  I was impressed.

I was describing the experience to a friend when I arrived, and I likened it to flying when you get the bonus of having the seat beside you free.   In a plane you are cramped, and when there is no one in the seat next to you, you get to stretch out your legs into that space and feel human again.

When the car is in auto-pilot mode, your legs have the chance to move, to stretch.  With no central console, you can easily stretch your legs into the passenger’s space.   This little act of expanse can make all the difference in a long journey.

Overall, I was surprised at how painless and easy the journey was, even with the extra overhead of charging time.  I arrived far more refreshed than I thought I would.

Driving a Tesla is an honor.  Even after 2 years, each time I get in, I still feel a sense of excitement that I am driving something very special.  The car receives software updates approximately once a month, further improving the experience.   The car I bought in March 2015, is not the car I am driving in 2017.

I now have the confidence to start planning my coast-2-coast trip and take my trip around the USA, seeing this wonderful country, for $0 fuel cost.  It would be a crime not to do the trip.


I loved my trip.  It was an experience that I would not hesitate to do it again, choosing electric over flight.

My advice to you – if you get the chance, do it, you will fall in love with road trips all over again.


Do you still buy e-books as much as you did?

With e-book sales dropping as much as 26% year-on-year, has the shine gone off the kindle?

This is a rather interesting statistic, showing that the sales of e-books are dropping quite dramatically.   I find this timely, as recently I have switched from buying electronic books to good old fashioned paperbacks.

According to Nielsen, e-book sales fell 16% in 2016 compared to the year previously. In young adult fiction alone, e-book sales dropped by more than 25%.

I have switched largely because there are a number of books that I wanted to share with others.   I also find that the second hand market for paperbacks is far more buoyant.   Kindle books I have found not to be as cost effective as you would first believe.

A Kindle book is extremely restrictive – you can’t lend them to someone else, nor can you gift them, and more importantly you can’t resell them.   Kindle books also don’t fill up a bookshelf – there is no satisfaction of seeing your collective reading (aka learning) over the years on a shelf.   The only real benefit of a Kindle book is its ease of transportation.

2017-06-19_14h35_48The last 2 books I actually purchased second hand from eBay, at a fraction of the cost of what was on offer from Amazon (who also offered it second hand too).  I also have the option of reselling which again, I have discovered eBay far quicker at moving items than Amazon.

I am glad the book industry isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon, especially now that I have rediscovered the joy of the printed word.

via What falling e-book sales tell us about technology in 2017

Amazon will change Whole Foods – but to what?

Could Whole Foods morph into an Amazon’s version of CVS/Walgreens like store?   Everything you need under one roof.

There is a very strong possibility that Amazon will completely change Whole Foods.  They do of course have the option of doing very little with it, and basically, just let it run as is – Amazon can leave properties alone to do their own thing, Zappos being a good example.

Amazon are looking to get into the grocery business and do it in the big new innovative way.   Amazon Go, their self-serve no-checkout, supermarket innovation could get a huge shot in the arm if Whole Foods 456 properties were to be morphed into this.   This would mean a lot of job losses, which is most likely on the cards anyway.

Whole Foods is an expensive high-end retailer.  There is talk that Amazon will look to bring down the cost and make Whole Foods more accessible to those that don’t want to spend their complete pay packet on the weekly shop!  Maybe turn the store into a Prime membership only store, like Sams Club/Costo.

chrome_2016-09-24_05-16-50With Amazon’s expertise in warehousing and distribution, I can see Whole Foods properties becoming self-pickup destinations for orders online.   Amazon Prime no doubt has a very large delivery and packaging cost – that could be reduced dramatically if they were to basically extend the Amazon Locker to all the locations.   They also have the ability to further upsell other products and services by having clients visiting the store.

Could Whole Foods morph into an Amazon’s version of CVS/Walgreens like store?   Everything you need under one roof.

Let us not forget about their vision for delivering goods via drones – these drones need a good launching off place as their range is only a few miles.   Again, the Whole Foods properties can serve as a wonderful network for drones to deliver your fresh fruit and veg!

Seeking Alpha Editor Brandy Betz noted another interesting side benefit of the purchase of Whole Foods – Amazon can take away a major Microsoft customer and move them over to Amazon Web Services.   Not a short term thing as this sort of migration is not a trivial matter, but it does serve to highlight just the sort of extra benefits Amazon brings to the party when they purchase a big property.

There is a lot of possibilities where Amazon can take this deal and there is no doubt a lot of retailers will be watching closely.  One thing is for sure, they will not hang around.  We will know what they are up very quickly.