My new price target had triggered another spike in Amazon’s stock price, and for the first time in my experience as analyst, a company was angry about that.
Amazon’s spiking stock price, Joy explained, was causing problems at the company. It was distracting employees, who were spending their days obsessing about the stock price instead of Amazon’s customers. It was making recruiting difficult, because Amazon stock options were losing their attractiveness to would-be employees as the stock shot ever higher. It was focusing the press on the stock when Amazon wanted the focus to be on Amazon. It was, in short, making everything all about the short term, when Amazon’s whole business strategy and philosophy were about the long term.
I protested to Joy that I had merely said what I had thought we both agreed on — that Amazon was a great business that would be worth a whole lot of money some day.
“Yes,” I remember Joy saying. “Someday. But now all anyone is thinking about is today.”