In this essay about Amazon, he cites this image, a refined version of one drawn on a napkin by Jeff Bezos.
Look at the arrows, look at the words.
Words/Phrases that are missing:
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Sellers and Selection ... that's Merchandise.
Customer Experience? That's pretty important.
The essence of Merchandise Forensics is outlined in the image above. Merchandise improves the customer experience, which drives traffic, which attracts sellers (your merchandise vendors) which improves selection which improves the customer experience.
Is it possible that we're focusing on the wrong things, and that's why business isn't so great?