Invent and Wander

Jeff Bezos Invent and WanderMany books have been written about Jeff Bezos and the story of his leading Amazon to what Amazon is today. For the first time, a book has compiled the annual shareholder letters written by Jeff from 1997 to 2019.

This book provided a hint to the thinking of Jeff Bezos and the strategies, both successful and unsuccessful, that Amazon implemented over the years. I really enjoyed peeking into the mind behind Amazon and to look back at the number of unique innovations Amazon introduced during my professional life thus far.

A couple of key takeaways that I want to share with you:

1. Day 1 mindset
Every annual letter to the shareholders communicated that today was Day 1 for Amazon and the guiding principles of focusing relentlessly on the customer and making investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term Wall Street reactions.

2. What’s not going to change in the next 10 years.
Jeff was careful to build on the momentum and foundations that existed in the current marketplace instead of looking to create the next high growth market mover. He built Amazon Marketplace with the understanding of three things that will not change in the market:

  • The customer will want the greatest selection and options
  • The customer will want the cheapest price
  • The customer will want the quickest delivery

In the process, he discovered and realized through building Amazon Web Services (AWS) that the priorities that retail customers have for products was true for business enterprises as well. AWS has grown to solve the complex needs that businesses have in order to conduct their own businesses on the internet with the same three things that were not going to change in the next 10 years.

If you are anything like me, a read through Invent and Wander will provide a little walk down memory lane as many of us have grown up with the rise and influence of Amazon in our lives. Along the way, I think you will also catch a fresh perspective on Amazon and see how important this company has been for so many of us and society as a whole.