Amazon announced a consolation prize to its recent high profile HQ2 selections of New York City and Arlington Virginia: Nashville will get a logistics hub with 5,000 high-paying jobs. Amazon called-out Nashville as a center of talent. So what is going on here?
The news is much more that Nashville getting a piece of the action. The real talent in Nashville is for-profit healthcare. That is also by far the biggest business sector in town. So some believe that the 1-million square foot distribution center Amazing is planning will also double as a laboratory for healthcare innovation. We have written here previously about Amazon’s healthcare venture (with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase). It’s public goal is to first solve the healthcare crisis for its own employees. But we all believe that Amazon has bigger stakes in mind, especially in the face of complete abdication of creativity and innovation from legacy health systems. The new Amazon campus in Nashville is one block from HCA, the country’s largest for profit hospital chain. Nashville is also home to surgical center and behavioral health companies. All these are prime targets of learning as Amazon explores how to bring innovation, service and cost cutting to healthcare.