Amazon.com Inc. is a pioneer in the field of selling things online, but founder Jeff Bezos said Monday he often warns his workers that being first isn't necessarily enough.

"There's a lot to be said for close following as a business strategy," Bezos said during a question-and-answer session at a luncheon for the Technology Alliance, a Washington state trade group, at a Seattle hotel.
Bezos, also Amazon.com's president, chairman and chief executive, noted that such copycats can save money and don't have to make as many wrong turns _ two of the factors that can lead to toppling the market leader.
The Seattle Internet retailer is facing concerns from analysts that, despite its pioneering roots and hefty technology investments, it is now lagging competitors.

Bezos and other Amazon.com executives usually refuse to discuss the competition, insisting that the company is focused on its customers, not its competitors. Bezos said Monday that Amazon.com developed that strategy soon after it opened its virtual doors, when brick-and-mortar bookselling giant Barnes & Noble Inc. announced plans to start selling online.

Many analysts said that attack could lead to the quick demise of Amazon.com, Bezos said, adding, "We thought they had a good point."

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