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Could Amazon Home Assistant Be Company's Way To Get Home To 'Run on Amazon'?

Mike Wolf Amazon home assistant smart home

If we've learned anything about Amazon, they are willing to experiment with new business ideas. After all, this is the same company that came up with the idea for single-brand order buttons and a deal of the day truck.

But even for Amazon, their latest idea of a possible "home assistant" (and not of the virtual kind) is a little far afield. That's because the description of the position sounds like a help wanted ad for a Merry Maid, not your typical Amazon job posting.  

Now, home assistant services have long been in the crosshairs of the tech world, going way back to the first dot-com boom, with more recent efforts including the likes of Hello Alfred, Taskrabbit, and even Amazon's own Home Services. But the big difference between at least Taskrabbit and Amazon's Home Services business is those are marketplaces, not companies sending their own employees in the form of an on-demand home task labor.

So what's up? Why exactly is Amazon looking to hire someone to tidy up your home?

A few thoughts:

What I don't think they are trying to create is an Amazon MerryMaid business. Bezos is a brilliant strategist and there's no way he sees a large  Amazon labor force for home chores is something he wants to do.

The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is this is a fact-finding experiment for a bigger type of offering, possibly involving a form of labor marketplace. That marketplace could be an offshoot of the company's existing home services marketplace, or Amazon could be looking to develop its own branded home services business utilizing verified freelancers.

They could also be working on a new idea around a life-assistant where busy consumers utilize the help of an Amazon employee to help them do small chores around the home.  

How would Amazon pay for this type of service once it scales?

While they could charge an additional fee for such a service, there's a chance Amazon sees the assistant role as one that will leverage existing in-home technology a creates a home that essentially 'runs on Amazon.'  In other words, much as the cable providers knew they needed truck rolls to set consumers up with pay TV to ensure a long-term relationship with recurring revenue, Amazon could see the home assistant as their 'truck roll' investment, one which is paid back through a home fully integrated with Amazon platforms such as Alexa, Dash, commerce, etc.  

There's a good chance none of this will come true. This all may be some innovative way for Amazon to do in-home market research.  

But knowing the company's desire to become an ever more integral part of the consumer home, I would keep a close on eye on this effort going forward. 

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