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Shark Tank star and famed investor Mark Cuban has a question he asks just about every startup he invests in: How are they going to compete with Amazon? It’s been a standard question for e-commerce startups for the last decade. But increasingly, it’s a standard question for any startup.
“Amazon is the data company that, to me, is the world’s greatest startup,” Cuban said at the Lerer Ventures CEO Summit in New York on Tuesday. “All they’re doing is leveraging their data to build more startups.”
It’s a point worth making the week of Amazon’s 20-year anniversary as a public company. (Notably, a $5,000 investment back then would be worth $2.4 million today.)
Amazon is no longer “the everything store,” it’s the everything company, with a powerful stronghold in connected homes, cloud computing, same-day delivery, and video streaming. Just this week, Amazon signaled it would go deeper into online furniture, likely crushing any smaller players in that category. More notably, it’s thinking about pharmaceutical sales. The company is hiring a team to create a strategy for entering the pharmacy market, CNBC reports. In other words: Even if one particularly category is a weak spot for the behemoth today, it’s safe for startups to assume Amazon will figure out a way to compete. It’s just a matter of time.