One of the best parts about living in Seattle is hearing Amazon’s leadership principles pop up in casual conversation.
just kidding 😂. But actually, one of the things that has always intrigued me about Amazon’s leadership principles is the tension between customer obsession and delivering (financial) results.
Stratechery had a great article
on this last week, where he evaluates Amazon search algorithm adjustments to favor its own products against Jeff Bezos’s advice on how to avoid Day 2 from his 2016 shareholder letter
Shifting results away from relevance towards factors that benefits Amazon’s bottom line is not a decision that results from “true customer obsession”
Goal-seeking for profit is a poor proxy for that customer obsession that Bezos focused on in the 1997 shareholder letter
Amazon allegedly spent “years” deciding whether or not to do this, which is definitely not “high-velocity decision making”
And when you compare that to Amazon’s investment in one day shipping:
Customers love getting items in one day instead of two
One day shipping is a clear goal
Increased convenience will always be the ultimate external trend
Ramping up one-day shipping in a manner of weeks by definition requires high-velocity decision making
I don’t like that Amazon, Apple, and Google promote their own products first, but I think they should be allowed to if they want. But more than two-thirds of voters think big tech platforms should be broken up to ensure they don’t prioritize content they benefit from financially
, so seems like the customer ask is pretty clear.