The Amazon Complex

The first time I was exposed to Jeff Bezos’ fundamental way of thinking was when I saw his incredible 33 minute fireside chat. His clarity changed my outlook towards business, life and outer space!

As is now expected of him, Jeffrey P. Bezos sent out a thought-provoking shareholder letter that peeks into how he, and Amazon, is thinking of the future.

He had once quipped “Ask yourself what won’t change. People will always want better, faster, cheaper. This won’t change for the next 10 years, and we’re focused on exactly this”.

Hand-standing advice notwithstanding, the shareholder letter extends this piece of advice in great detail. I will attempt to summarize his thinking on culture that are key lessons for anybody doing business. 

Customers have ever rising high standards, and companies will have to meet them. The good thing is that high standards are teachable, contagious and learnt from colleagues.

One should note that high standards take time and need a scope defined – you may get frustrated if you don’t set realistic expectations. A method to drive high standards at Amazon (apologies to my consultant friends) is their six-page memos, with a ban on power point presentations.

High standards make work fun by attracting the best talent and protecting invisible, yet crucial, effort.

In a world where we see Facebook culturally battered, Google attempting to expand beyond search, and Microsoft a pale version of its previous self – I believe Amazon will serve as an example of how to run an internet giant. 

This week, I look at Neural Blockchain, Zillow and DTH et al. 

  1. [Large Startups]: Bikes, rental and public transport on Uber
  2. [Work Culture]: Your strategic plans aren’t even strategic or plans*
  3. [Growing Startups]: Softbank’s huge vision fund takes on the “real” world
  4. [Buzzwords]: Making sense of Quantum Neural Blockchain AI
  5. [Life x Startups]: The value of time while investing in startups
  6. [The New Monopolies]: If Facebook will not fix itself, will Congress?*
  7. [Data!]: Sherlock in your Homes – India’s DTH will spy on you*
  8. [Modern Economics]: Zillow, Aggregation & Integration – disrupting real estate
  9. [Classic Economics]: Economists understand little about the causes of growth
  10. [Business is Entertainment]: Disneyflix is coming and Netflix should be scared
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