Diary of a Financier

Bookshelf update: The Everything Store

In Bookshelf on Tue 30 Dec 2014 at 06:31

Five takeaways from Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, as embodied by the following excerpts…


1. “Regret minimization framework”:

Helps make important, difficult decisions easier by putting them into context of the bigger, longer term picture. (I call this the “when I’m 80” or “Octogenarian” exercise.)

2. Reducing bureaucratic friction:

Bezos pledged to run Amazon with an emphasis on decentralization and minimization of collaboration.  As the company grew, eliminating bureaucracies as such empowered individuals, with positive byproducts like greater accountability, efficiency, etc.:

“Communication is a sign of dysfunction… A hierarchy [like a corporate ladder or organization chart] isn’t responsive enough to change… coordination among employees wastes time, and those closest to problems are best suited to solve them.”

3. “Your job is to kill your own business”:

Bezos set up an engineer whose sole responsibility was to disrupt Amazon’s own business, which reared the Kindle eReader.

4. “Missionary over mercenary” business ideology:

Socially conscious policy is reminiscent of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, although both seem more ideological than practicable.

5. “Frugality… Breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention”:

I love how the Amazon startup used repurposed doors as desks in Bezos’ garage… and the entire company still uses the “door-desks” exclusively to this day, because they’re inexpensive.

This got me thinking about how to retain employee talent while being cheap? Bezos’ answer seems to be that you can’t, so you replace them with automation and technology like Amazon’s Kiva Systems warehouse robots.  Either employees share your sense of purpose — and they’ll stick with you to realize the long term vision — or they don’t — and they’ll leave.  Monetary incentives or perks just [expensively] delay the inevitable.


#Business #Startup #Management $AMZN

  1. […] forget the most important of the “4 Ps,” purpose, which Jeff Bezos thinks is incentive enough for his […]

  2. […] is the case for Peter Thiel’s “durable monopoly” and Jeff Bezos’ “your job is to kill your own business.”  I wonder how Google is applying this to the iOS vs. Android duopoly?  Perhaps […]

  3. […] See also: Frugality breeds resourcefulness (Bezos) […]

  4. […] also: Bezos on decentralization & minimizing collaboration; Christensen on failing early & inexpensively #Bureaucracy #Committee […]


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s