In 2004, Jeff Bezos and his technical advisor Colin Briar traveled together to Tacoma, an hour south of Seattle in Washington state.
At the time, Amazon was already a multi-million dollar company. However, they were headed to Amazon’s customer service center, where they were spending two days as customer service agents.
“Jeff answered the calls himself‘He remembers a complaint about a complaint about a particular product,’ says Breyer. Jeff’s eyes widened,” he says.
Bezos was frustrated. There was clearly something wrong with the product, but it was not reported. Later that day, send an email asking for more effective ways to report defective products.
Bezos will retire from Amazon on Monday, exactly 27 years after it was founded.
At that time he developed a series of Extraordinary Leadership PrinciplesWhich, for some, is the backbone of their success. However, others think they are talking about everything that is wrong with the big tech companies.
Talk to anyone who has worked at Amazon and you won’t have to wait long to hear the phrase Customer obsession.
For Bezos, interest has been a long-standing ambition. For a business to be successful, it must have happy customers at almost any cost.
Nadia Churapora joined Amazon in 2004. She was invited to join the elite “S Team” of Amazon CEOs, the top management board. But when it started, I thought it would be fired immediately.
“I made the biggest mistake of my life during the height of Christmas,” he says.
Sharbora had ordered main products for warehouse shelves which were too big. It will take time and money to correct it.
“I came up with a clever way to lose as little money as possible and somehow fix the problem. But when I showed it to Jeff, he looked at me and said, ‘You’re thinking wrong.'”
“You’re thinking about how to improve the money. Fix the problem for customers, then come back to me in a few weeks and tell me the cost.”
Bezos has many critics. Last month, an article by ProPublica He claimed to have seen Bezos’ tax returns, and he claimed that She did not pay taxes in 2007 and 2011. It was a great statement about the richest man in the world.
Other negative stories told about Amazon have something to do with its cruelty, and allegations of monopolistic behavior have not helped Bezos’ reputation.
However, many people who work closely with him are unaware of the characterization as apathetic or selfish.
To them, he is a business visionary, a man of unique focus who has created a legendary business philosophy and a company worth nearly $1.8 trillion.
The rule of the two pizza
Bezos loves small teams. He has a rule of thumb for meetings to be productive: Make sure you can feed the whole group two pizzas.
He hates PowerPoint presentations Executives prefer to discuss memos in writing.
To prevent dominant personalities from being overly influenced, he sometimes patrols each participant in a meeting and asks their opinion on an issue.
And people who know him say that he loves those who object. “We argue and shout at each other,” Sharbora says.
“Everything is done very publicly, and the conversations become very hot and emotional. But it’s on the topicNever against a person.”
Amazon has a set of 14 “Leadership Principles”. Someone talks about having the “courage to be different”.
And it seems that Bezos really wants to promote this culture to a higher level. leaders They must not “compromise for social cohesion”It says start.
However, there are questions about whether this philosophy is always correctly interpreted when moving down the Amazon chain of command.
In 2015, the New York Times published an article containing allegations of an “overwhelming” work culture by former employees.
Bezos is a fan of engineering, invention and machines. He’s obsessed with scales, which is not a bad trait in the world of logistics. But critics say the obsession has human costs, especially at Amazon’s many warehouses.
During the unsuccessful attempt by Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, to form a union, I spoke with several workers who said they felt like “a cog in a machine.” Others describe the feeling of being Constantly monitor.
However, at the highest levels, Bezos’ management style looks different. He likes his teams to be independent which he believes encourages innovation.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), el Amazingly successful At first glance, the cloud computing service had little to do with Amazon’s core business: e-commerce.
However, Bezos supported the idea, giving his trusted employee Andy Gacy the freedom — and capital — to build a company within another. Bezos sees Gacy as an entrepreneur, not just a manager, as a key part of his reason for taking over as Bezos’ successor.
“It’s easy to be brave when you’re a startup,” Shalabora explains. “The older you get, the harder it gets to be brave, because now you take a lot of risks. He’s always been very brave.”
People who know him comment that Bezos loves him يحب Tackling “backward” problems. “It’s a very specific process at Amazon,” says Breyer.
In the planning stage, teams make a reverse schedule: they start with what would be a presentation and then work backwards.
“The first thing the team does is write a press release, and it’s usually the last thing companies write.”
This plays on Bezos’ view of time. It’s something he thinks about a lot. He installed a $42 million, 10,000-year-old clock on a hollow mountain in Texas. It is meant to represent the power of “long-term thinking”.
And to be fair, Bezos has always approached business with the long-term in mind. People close to him often use the word “methodical” to describe his obsession with the client about short-term profits.
Always fascinated by space travel, at the end of this month he plans to fly into space on his first flight with a crew made by his company, Blue Origin.
Request They are not allowed to return to Earth It has collected nearly 150,000 signatures.
But whether you like it or hate it, Bezos has proven to be a brilliant and extremely capable leader, someone who has changed the way businesses operate around the world.
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“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”