For the 100th anniversary of Forbes magazine, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wrote an essay on the role of consumers in the world of information transparency

We are witnessing a tremendous change in the way consumer opinion has become hugely important because of word of mouth and transparency.

It used to be that if a customer was happy with a product, he would tell five of his friends about it. And now with the ubiquitous access to the Internet, whether through reviews on specialized platforms or through social networks, a customer can recommend a good product to 5,000 friends.

In the old days, a low-quality product could dominate store shelves if it was marketed well. Today, however, consumers can easily find great products or services thanks to information transparency. They can easily compare the product with other similar products and tell all their friends, which means that from a marketing point of view, the hardest thing they will do themselves.

Today, instead of shouting about their product as loudly as possible, everyone is competing to improve its quality. It’s very good for consumers, it’s very good for companies that follow a similar principle, and in the end, it’s very good for society as a whole.

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