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© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Amazon’s Culture of Innovation
ENABLING EVERYONE TO INNOVATE
Rob Findlay, Digital Innovation
finners@amazon.com
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
“We had three big ideas at Amazon
that we have stuck with for 20+ years,
and they are the reason we are
successful: put the customer first,
invent, and be patient.”
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Our mission
to be Earth’s most
customer-centric company
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
1994 Founded
1995 Amazon.com
1998 CDs & DVDs
2006 AWS
2007 Kindle
2011 Video
2012 Groceries
2014 Alexa/Echo
2015 Bookstores
2017 Go
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-corporatetimeline
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Our 14 Leadership Principles
Customer Obsession
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work
vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay
attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Ownership
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-
term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire
company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my
job”.
Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their
teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware,
look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not
invented here”. As we do new things, we accept that we may be
misunderstood for long periods of time.
Are Right, a Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good
instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their
beliefs.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve
themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to
explore them.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion.
They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them
throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take
seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our
people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think
these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually
raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality
products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not
get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay
fixed.
Think Big
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and
communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think
differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible
and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Frugality
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-
sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing
headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Earn Trust
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others
respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is
awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their
team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves
and their teams against the best.
Dive Deep
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit
frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No
task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they
disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting.
Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise
for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they
commit wholly.
Deliver Results
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them
with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they
rise to the occasion and never settle.
Whether you are an individual contributor or a manager of a large team, you are an Amazon leader.
These are our leadership principles, unless you know better ones. Please be a leader.
amazon.jobs/en/principles
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
The power of the
written narrative
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Where innovation begins
start with the customer
and work backwards
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Working Backwards
is a process
Customer
Press
Release
FAQ
Visuals
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
ü 1. Who is your customer?
ü 2. What is the customer problem or opportunity?
ü 3. How do you know what your customer needs or wants?
ü 4. What’s the solution? What does the experience look like?
ü 5. What is the most important customer benefit?
The Working Backwards Process helps you
answer 5 critical questions
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Stubborn on the vision
Flexible on the details
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Two-Pizza teams are
fast and agile, fostering
ownership and
autonomy
Small, decentralized
single-threaded
teams are nimble
Own and run
what you build
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
© 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 1414
A shift to microservices
• Single-purpose
• Connect only through hardened APIs
• Largely “black boxes” to each other
• Business logic and data only accessible
through APIs
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Be Earth’s most
Customer-centric company
Start with the customer
Work backwards
Stubborn on the vision
Flexible on the details
© 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
Amazon’s Culture of Innovation
ENABLING EVERYONE TO INNOVATE
Rob Findlay, Digital Innovation
finners@amazon.com

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Amazon's Culture of Innovation

  • 1. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon’s Culture of Innovation ENABLING EVERYONE TO INNOVATE Rob Findlay, Digital Innovation finners@amazon.com
  • 2. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
  • 3. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. “We had three big ideas at Amazon that we have stuck with for 20+ years, and they are the reason we are successful: put the customer first, invent, and be patient.”
  • 4. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Our mission to be Earth’s most customer-centric company
  • 5. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 1994 Founded 1995 Amazon.com 1998 CDs & DVDs 2006 AWS 2007 Kindle 2011 Video 2012 Groceries 2014 Alexa/Echo 2015 Bookstores 2017 Go http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-corporatetimeline
  • 6. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Our 14 Leadership Principles Customer Obsession Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers. Ownership Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long- term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job”. Invent and Simplify Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here”. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time. Are Right, a Lot Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs. Learn and Be Curious Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. Hire and Develop the Best Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice. Insist on the Highest Standards Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed. Think Big Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers. Bias for Action Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking. Frugality Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self- sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense. Earn Trust Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best. Dive Deep Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly. Deliver Results Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle. Whether you are an individual contributor or a manager of a large team, you are an Amazon leader. These are our leadership principles, unless you know better ones. Please be a leader. amazon.jobs/en/principles
  • 7. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. The power of the written narrative
  • 8. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Where innovation begins start with the customer and work backwards
  • 9. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Working Backwards is a process Customer Press Release FAQ Visuals
  • 10. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. ü 1. Who is your customer? ü 2. What is the customer problem or opportunity? ü 3. How do you know what your customer needs or wants? ü 4. What’s the solution? What does the experience look like? ü 5. What is the most important customer benefit? The Working Backwards Process helps you answer 5 critical questions
  • 11. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
  • 12. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Stubborn on the vision Flexible on the details
  • 13. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Two-Pizza teams are fast and agile, fostering ownership and autonomy Small, decentralized single-threaded teams are nimble Own and run what you build © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
  • 14. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 1414 A shift to microservices • Single-purpose • Connect only through hardened APIs • Largely “black boxes” to each other • Business logic and data only accessible through APIs © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Be Earth’s most Customer-centric company Start with the customer Work backwards Stubborn on the vision Flexible on the details
  • 16. © 2019, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon’s Culture of Innovation ENABLING EVERYONE TO INNOVATE Rob Findlay, Digital Innovation finners@amazon.com