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The New York Times reports that the 218 cities and states that were not among the 20 finalists in Amazon’s search for a second North American headquarters, or HQ2, are likely to see their efforts bear some fruit.

That’s because, the Times writes, “the hundreds of applications gave Amazon a hidden benefit: free research that the company can mine when picking spots for future warehouses and satellite offices.

“Amazon asked every city and state applying for its second headquarters for details about local resources, like available talent and transit options. Local officials were also prodded for tips on local education programs and tax incentives.

“The answers - most of which have not been released publicly - essentially do Amazon’s homework for it, providing valuable information that the company otherwise would have needed to dig up on its own or obtain through one-on-one negotiations.”

These resources included things like educational programs focused on technical subjects and software development, initiatives designed to help military veterans move into private sector jobs, and the kind of incentives that some places might be willing to offer to land Amazon facilities.
KC's View:
The thing is, Amazon knows that if it is going to dominate the so-called “last mile” to customers’ doors all over the country, it is going to need a lot of facilities in a lot of places. So while HQ2 may be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is likely that there’s going to be some gold scattered along the way.

Amazon, not surprisingly, isn’t just going from point A to point B. It’s map to success is a lot more comprehensive.