having conquered As an online retailer, Amazon quickly spread to cloud computing, media, and advertising. How? ‘Or’ What? Bezonomics – the title of my book and the term I gave to CEO Jeff Bezos formula for success. It involves an obsession with the customer, a mania for innovation and a long-term vision. But more than that, Bezos was one of the first to deeply integrate data, machine learning, the Internet of Things and AI in his business decision-making process, ensuring that Amazon is guided by facts and radical transparency – and incredibly helpful while working from home under lockdown. Here are some other surprising finds I wrote about:
I was amazed at how deeply ingrained AI is in the business of the company.
Amazon was one of the first to embrace artificial intelligence and injected it into almost every aspect of its business. For example, the company ran weekly retail reviews with up to 60 managers. They negotiated what to buy, how much, and which warehouses needed which quantities. Now algorithms are doing all of that.
My biggest surprise? Finding out that Jeff Bezos was cloning himself throughout the organization.
When I spent time at Amazon, I learned that Bezos and his senior lieutenants religiously use a shadowing program that allows promising young managers to follow their boss every day for two years. In the end, “the shadow” knows how Bezos and his top executives think and has internalized Amazon’s formula for spreading those ideas throughout the company. The clone has also gained Bezos’ trust and can now take on huge responsibilities.
I was impressed with how quickly Amazon is launching into new industries.
Few people realize that Amazon is in the process of becoming a financial company. Last year, she loaned $ 1 billion to entrepreneurs who sell their products on the company’s site. But these loans can be a wild ride for a small business. In 2016, an entrepreneur whose company sells travel pouches borrowed $ 300,000 from Amazon, only to wake up one morning during peak holiday sales season to find the algorithm decided he was no longer creditworthy. and canceled his line of credit. He never knew why his loan was withdrawn. (Fortunately, he was able to get a loan from another Amazon seller and eventually get out of his predicament.)
My key to take away
Amazon has become a life-shaping force that every entrepreneur should know more about. Anyone looking to run a successful business in today’s economy – especially one that competes with Amazon – must understand the relentless growth of this juggernaut, the obsessive innovation that fuels it and the founder at the heart of it. all. In the new world of bezonomy, all the rules change. And you can’t win the game if you don’t know the rules.
Extract from the May / June 2020 issue of Inc. Magazine