Amazon is what may be referred to as “co-opetition”, in that they cooperate with their vendors and customers at first, then they build competing business models. Akamai was their primary CDN at one time, and then they started CloudFront. Netflix was their biggest customer and still might be, then they came out with Amazon Instant Video. There are several more cases like this. It’s a brilliant strategy, and it helped Amazon become the giant it is. Amazon will learn the business of a partner or customer, then build a competing business around it.
However, there is one Amazon customer in particular that is just as innovative as Amazon, if not more, and that is Netflix. Today, Netflix is an open source machine and infrastructure giant. They have the technical know-how, financial resources, and infrastructure pieces in place to start their own AWS and CloudFront. Should Netflix do it? Absolutely. Netflix should jump in the game and become a Cloud Compute and CDN player giving Amazon, Microsoft and Google a little competition. Netflix is known to cause a stir in the political realm with the Net Neutrality debate, but that story is old now and a new cool story is needed. If Netflix wants to confound its rivals, loyalist, Wall Street, and the business community they should do the following:
NetFlix Web Services (NWS)
Netflix Next Generation CDN (NN-CDN)