What Is the Secret to Amazon’s Huge Success? Jeff Bezos Credits Commitment to These 3 Principles


The keys to business success lie in the way you think about how you will accomplish your goals


By Sonia Thompson

In January 2020, Amazon crossed a $1 trillion market cap. Because of its behemoth size, it is no wonder entrepreneurs from around the globe keep a watchful eye on what Amazon does, trying to extract insights into what makes it so successful. The good news is its CEO Jeff Bezos has been very upfront about the core operating principles that fuel Amazon’s growth. In particular, he credits the company’s success to its commitment to the following three areas.

1. Accept Occasional Failure as the Price of Innovating

Most companies avoid failure like the plague. Intuitively, they understand the need to innovate to stay relevant, yet they often get lulled into competing in a way that is safe to minimize losses. But, Bezos notes that you can’t be innovative if you aren’t willing to fail. Here’s his commentary on the topic from one of his annual reports:

One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there.

— Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

You’ve got to make experimenting a part of the culture of your business. That means allowing space to explore your curiosity as you try out new ways to add value to your customers.

That doesn’t mean that you have to start failing big. Rather, make calculated bets on the experiments you engage in. This will allow you to get the learning you need to determine the optimal path forward, without losing your shirt in the process.

2. Work Every Day Like It’s Your First Day in Business

Amazon has nearly 350,000 employees. With an organization that size, it would seem that they would operate at a slower pace, much the way many mature companies do. But since the beginning, Bezos has declared that Amazon will operate like a hungry startup, as if it is day one for the business. In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Bezos explained why operating in this manner is so critical:

Day two is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.

— Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Even though Amazon has the resources to be very sophisticated in how they execute on delivering value for their customers, it is the mindset of always operating with a sense of urgency in their work that makes the key difference. This means they make decisions quickly, usually with 70 percent of the information rather than 90 percent. They embrace trends that impact their customers and resist proxies as a marker for success.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos holds the new Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire in New York City on Sept. 28, 2011. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

You can maintain your startup culture too, even as your business grows. You could do that by empowering your team members to make decisions to delight your customers, foster creativity, and encourage dissent over groupthink as a way to deliver products that solve unmet needs.

3. Give Your Customers What They Want Before They Know They Want it

Adding more value to their customers is the simple goal that is the driving force behind Amazon’s sense of urgency and willingness to experiment. According to Bezos, Amazon is obsessed with them and is always on the lookout for ways to improve upon how they serve them.

That obsession causes them to develop a degree of intimacy with their customers that enables them to work to develop solutions that make Amazon an indispensable part of their customers’ world. Bezos explained why this is such a critical tenet of their business:

Even when they don’t know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight your customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it.

— Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Be relentless about getting to know your customers. Talk to them, observe them, and get to know them better than they know themselves. Then you’ll know exactly how to deliver products, services, and experiences that solve their problems like none other.

You can build a business that is wildly successful. A smart strategy to do that is by following the principles of companies who’ve already done what you aspire to do, and applying them to the way you operate. These universal lessons from Amazon are a great place to start.



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Amazon Providing $23 Million for Affordable Housing in Seattle


SEATTLE—Amazon said Thursday it is providing $23 million to help minority-led organizations build or preserve more than 500 new affordable housing units in Seattle—the latest spending by a tech company to ease a severe housing crunch the industry has helped create.

The commitment comes from Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund, a $2 billion initiative launched in January 2021. The fund has so far invested more than $1.2 billion to create or preserve over 8,000 affordable homes across three regions where the company has offices: the Puget Sound in Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.

“When our city’s businesses and private partners step up, like Amazon is doing through this significant investment, we can accelerate progress addressing difficult challenges like housing affordability,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a news release announcing the investment.

The high salaries tech companies pay have helped drive up housing costs in the cities where they operate, pricing many people, including teachers, nurses, firefighters, and restaurant employees, out of the communities where they work.

The industry was long criticized for failing to address that, but in recent years tech giants have taken big steps. In 2019, Apple committed $2.5 billion toward affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area; Google devoted $1 billion; Microsoft said it would provide $750 million in housing grants and investments in the Puget Sound region; and Facebook, now Meta, said it would spend $1 billion to help address the housing crisis in California by creating up to 20,000 new affordable housing units.

The Amazon Housing Equity Fund offers grants and low-rate loans to housing providers that create or preserve affordable homes, with an emphasis on supporting households earning 30 percent to 80 percent of an area’s median income.

The new investments are the fund’s first in Seattle proper, though it previously has put money toward housing elsewhere in the region, including near transit stations in SeaTac and Bellevue.

Catherine Buell, the fund’s director, noted the housing crisis is disproportionately affecting people of color. That was one reason it was important to work with nonprofit organizations and real estate organizations led by Black, Asian and Hispanic partners.

Amazon is working with three organizations—the Mount Baker Housing Authority, El Centro de la Raza and Gardner Global — on four housing projects, totaling 568 units in south Seattle neighborhoods that feature large populations of people of color and which have rapidly gentrified or are at risk of it.

Three of the four projects involved will be affordable for those making up to 60 percent of the area median income—that’s $54,350 for a single person or $77,650 for a family of four, according to the Seattle Office of Housing. The fourth, a new apartment building by Black-owned Gardner Global with 122 units, mostly studio, and one-bedroom, will serve those who earn up to 80 percent of the area median income, or $66,750 for a single person.

In the news release announcing the investments, David Tan, executive director of the Mount Baker Housing Authority, called the funding a “game-changer.”

“The Fund is a source of affordable, patient capital that gives developers much-needed flexibility in financing our projects,” Tan said.

By Gene Johnson

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Netflix Cuts 300 More Jobs Amid Slowing Growth


Netflix has laid off a further 300 employees after last month letting go of 150, mostly in the United States, amid slowing growth.

The job cuts, which the company said in May were driven by business needs and not employee performance, come as Netflix subscriptions substantially fell for the first time in a decade.

A Netflix spokesperson told The Hill the streaming company will continue to “significantly” invest in its business and that the new job cuts reflected the company’s need to balance costs with the slower revenue growth.

“We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition,” the spokesperson said, referring to the laid-off workers.

Around 150 employees, or roughly 2 percent of the company’s workforce, were already laid off in May in the United States and Canada.

A cheaper, ad-supported tier is one possibility Netflix was considering offering customers as a result of its declining growth, Reuters reported.

“We’re trying to be smart about it and prudent in terms of pulling back on some of that spend growth to reflect the realities of the revenue growth of the business,” Netflix Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann told investors during an earnings call.

Among the headwinds Netflix said it faces is a more crowded streaming marketplace, with Amazon and Disney launching platforms, and macro factors such as sluggish economic growth, increasing inflation, conflict in Europe, and COVID-19.

Given that Netflix is mostly accessed via internet-connected televisions, the number of households that haven’t taken the devices up is one factor out of the company’s control that is affecting the speed of its growth, it said. The cost of data is another factor the company can’t control.

A Netflix logo on a TV screen in a photo illustration taken on May 9, 2022. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

100 Million Shared Accounts Slows Growth

In April, the company told shareholders that another reason revenue growth had slowed is because of Netflix’s “relatively high house hold penetration,” which included families sharing accounts (pdf).

Netflix told shareholders that account sharing is the second biggest factor contributing to slowing growth.

Around 222 million households pay for Netflix, which the company said is mostly accessed via smart televisions connected to broadband internet. But the company estimates that Netflix is being shared with over 100 million additional households, including 30 million in the United States and Canada.

“Account sharing as a percentage of our paying membership hasn’t changed much over the years, but, coupled with the first factor, means it’s harder to grow membership in many markets—an issue that was obscured by our COVID growth,” the company said in a letter to shareholders in April.

The company has been testing a strategy to monetize sharing by giving customers in Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica the option to add a profile for up to two people who don’t live with them for an additional fee.

Caden Pearson

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Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. He has a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au



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Court: Amazon Customers Can Sue Over Lack of Toxic Warnings

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday left intact a ruling that allows customers to sue Amazon.com for failing to warn buyers that some products it sells may contain hazardous substances such as mercury.

The court denied a request by Amazon’s lawyers to review a lower court ruling that said Amazon violated the state’s Proposition 65, which requires companies to warn consumers about products they make or sell that contain chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm or birth defects.

The case involved a lawsuit filed in Alameda County that said the online retail giant knowingly allowed skin-lightening creams to be sold on its website for years despite being aware of concerns about toxic mercury levels in such creams.

Mercury can harm pregnant women and their fetuses. The suit alleged that some of the products produced by third parties but sold on Amazon contained mercury levels that were thousands of times the U.S. federal legal limit.

Amazon did not immediately comment on the Supreme Court’s action, which allows the previous court ruling to be used as precedent in state courts.

However, California has such a large market share that any actions Amazon takes to comply with Proposition 65 could have a much wider impact on consumers, said Rachel Doughty, a plaintiff’s attorney in the suit.

“That could look like removal of products containing carcinogens or reproductive toxins from Amazon’s site, or Amazon taking measures to ensure that a warning is provided … so consumers can take steps to avoid exposure to such chemicals,” Doughty said in an email.

The lawsuit was dismissed in 2019 by a judge who found Amazon was protected by a section of the federal Communications Decency Act that shields websites from liability for content posted by other parties.

In March, however, a state appeals court said Amazon doesn’t merely act as a place for retailers to list their available merchandise but actively stores, sells and ships them.

A drugstore that sold the same creams would be required to issue Proposition 65 warnings, the ruling said.


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Amazon Starting Drone Deliveries in California City

Amazon announced Monday that some shipments will be delivered via drone to customers in a California city later this year.

Prime Air will start drone deliveries in Lockeford, California, approximately 50 miles south of Sacramento. The Hill reports that Amazon is working to get permission from both local officials and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin the drone deliveries.

Prime Air is one of three drone companies to earn an FAA air carrier certificate.

In its announcement, the company pointed to Lockeford’s aviation history, since Weldon B. Cooke, who both built and piloted early aircraft in the 1900s, lived there.

“Now, over a century later, residents will get the opportunity to sign up for free drone delivery on thousands of everyday items,” the announcement stated.

California State Assemblyman Heath Flora said that “Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world’s leading delivery innovations. It’s exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology.” The city is located in Flora’s district.

According to the company, after a customer is “onboarded” and orders a package, the drone will fly into their backyard, drop the package and then fly away. The drones can carry up to five pounds.


© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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Amazon to Cease Gig Economy Delivery Service in 2nd Largest Market


Amazon.com Inc looks to shut down its gig economy delivery service in Germany, its second-largest market after the U.S., for undisclosed reasons, Bloomberg reports.

Uber’s Flex program, which signed off in the U.S. in 2015 before expanding to Germany two years later, paid drivers to ferry packages in their vehicles from Amazon warehouses to customers’ homes.

Amazon sales in Germany reached $37 billion in 2021, up 26 percent year-on-year. Amazon offered some Flex drivers a one-time payment equal to four weeks’ pay.

Amazon has built a more formal delivery network, relying on small startups obligated to Amazon known as Delivery Service Partners.

Bloomberg notes Amazon assured assisting the former Amazon Flex delivery partners in finding other opportunities across Amazon’s operations in Germany, including the DSPs.

The DSP network was capable of absorbing “the very small portion of deliveries that Amazon Flex has been making.”

Amazon has 67 delivery stations in Germany, up from 10 before the pandemic began, as it doubled its warehouse capacity during the pandemic to tap the budding demand.

Amazon has started weighing alternatives to cut down on its CAPEX as it reported its first quarterly loss in seven years amid pandemic recovery. It acknowledged being overstaffed with an excess of warehouse space.

By Anusuya Lahiri

© 2022 The Epoch Times. The Epoch Times does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Fisherman Who Saw Missing British Journalist Arrested in Brazil on Weapons Charge


RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilian police investigating a missing British journalist and an indigenous expert in the Amazon jungle have arrested a man on a weapons charge, but have no evidence to tie him to their disappearance, police and the detainee’s lawyer told Reuters.

Witnesses said they last saw Dom Phillips, a freelancer who has written for the Guardian, the Washington Post and other publications, on Sunday along with Bruno Pereira, a former senior official with federal indigenous agency Funai.

They had been on a reporting trip in the Javari Valley, a remote jungle area that is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted indigenous people, as well as cocaine-smuggling gangs, and illegal hunters and fishermen.

On Wednesday, a Brazilian federal court ordered the government to immediately step up its search efforts with helicopters, boats, and search teams in a vast indigenous reserve region larger than Austria.

As a former Funai official stationed in the reserve, Pereira had regularly clashed with fishermen plundering protected fishing stocks. Police said investigators were treating what they called “escalating” tensions as a key issue.

Civil police in the town of Atalaia do Norte have questioned several fishermen who were among the last witnesses to see the pair alive.

One of the fishermen, Amarildo da Costa, known locally as “Pelado,” arrived in Atalaia do Norte for questioning on Tuesday in handcuffs as an empty shotgun casing and pellets were found in his home when police went to look for him, according to a police statement and a detective working on the case.

As a result, he has been arrested for illegal possession of restricted ammunition, and is awaiting a hearing for the weapons charge, said the detective, a police statement and Da Costa’s lawyer, Ronaldo Caldas.

The detective, who asked for anonymity to discuss an ongoing case, said da Costa lived near where the two men went missing. Da Costa’s lawyer said his client was not involved.

Guilherme Torres, the head of the interior department of Amazonas state’s civil police, told Reuters that it was still unclear if a crime had occurred, and the two men could be lost. But he said Pereira had recently received a threatening letter from a fisherman.

The disappearance of Phillips and Pereira, who both had years of experience working in the Amazon, has sparked global concern from rights groups, environmentalists, politicians, and press freedom advocates.

Soccer legend Pele on Wednesday joined those who voiced concern over the pair’s disappearance.

“The fight for the preservation of the Amazon Forest and the protection of indigenous groups belongs to all of us,” he posted on Instagram. “I join the many voices that make the appeal to intensify the search and to find them as soon as possible.”

The missing men’s families have urged authorities to intensify search operations.

By Gabriel Stargardter

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Fears Grow for Missing UK Journalist in Brazil as Sister Makes Appeal


The wife and the sister of a missing British journalist have called on the Brazilian government to pull out all the stops to find him after he vanished in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest.

Dom Phillips, 57, has not been seen since Sunday morning when he left the village of Sao Rafael in the Vale do Javari—not far from the border with Peru—with an indigenous adviser, Bruno Araujo Pereira, who had recently received a threatening letter believed to be linked to his fight with illegal gangs plundering the Javari river for fish.

The pair never arrived in Atalaia do Norte and the O Globo newspaper reported that a few days earlier Pereira received a letter which warned, “We know who you are and we’ll find you to settle the score.”

Phillips, who has been covering Brazil for The Guardian and several other newspapers for 15 years, was researching a book, funded by the U.S.-based Alicia Patterson Foundation, about the fight to conserve the Amazon rainforest and its wildlife.

His sister Sian urged the Brazilian authorities “to do all they can” to find her brother.

Phillips told The Guardian: “My brother Dom has been living in Brazil with his Brazilian wife. He loves the country and cares deeply about the Amazon and the people there. We knew it was a dangerous place, but Dom really believed it’s possible to safeguard the nature and livelihood of the indigenous people.”

The journalist’s wife, Alessandra Sampaio, speaking from her home in the city of Salvador, said: “In the forest every second counts, every second could be the difference between life and death.”

Speaking directly to the government of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, she said: “Our families are in despair. Please answer the urgency of the moment with urgent actions.”

Phillips and Pereira are understood to have spent two days interviewing indigenous tribespeople in villages near Jaburu Lake before their disappearance.

Brazil’s federal public prosecutors said on Monday they had opened an investigation and mobilised the Federal Police, Amazonas state police, the national guard, and the navy.

The navy has reportedly deployed a search-and-rescue team and a helicopter.

Hunters and fishermen have clashed with anti-poaching patrols in the Vale do Javari region in recent years.

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Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in crime, policing and the law.



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‘It’s Time for Me to Build Again.’


Dave Clark, who has been with the ecommerce giant since 1999, announced he will resign from the company and move on to new beginnings.

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By Madeline Garfinkle

After 23 years with Amazon, Dave Clark, who most recently served as CEO of its worldwide consumer business and as a top lieutenant to CEO Andy Jassy, announced he’ll be leaving the company effective July 1. Clark’s position made him one of the highest-ranking executives at Amazon, and the company had yet to name a replacement when news of his departure broke.

In a post announcing the news, Jassy stated: “we still have more work in front of us to get to where we ultimately want to be in our consumer business. To that end, we’re trying to be thoughtful in our plans for Dave’s succession and any changes we make. I expect to be ready with an update for you over the next few weeks.”

Who Is Amazon CEO Dave Clark?

Clark began his career at Amazon in 1999 straight out of grad school and a mere five years after the company was founded. He started in the operations department, where he quickly earned recognition for his work and moved up the ranks. His sharp eye and attention for identifying weaknesses in systems earned him the nickname among colleagues as “The Sniper,” as reported by Bloomberg.

During his 23-year stint with the company, Clark held a variety of executive positions, including SVP of worldwide operations, VP of worldwide operations, VP of global customer fulfillment, and VP of North America operations—with his role as CEO of worldwide consumer business being relatively new. Clark stepped into the position in early 2021 following the previous CEO’s retirement.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
The Amazon logo on the frontage of an Amazon’s center in Bretigny-sur-Orge, France on Dec. 14, 2021. (Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Is Dave Clark Resigning?

In an announcement shared to Twitter, Clark stated: “I’ve had an incredible time at Amazon but it’s time for me to build again. It’s what drives me. To all I’ve had the honor of working with: thank you for making it so much fun to come to work every day for 23 years to invent cool, amazing things for customers”—with attached screenshots of the resignation memo sent to his team. In the memo, Clark reiterates his gratitude for being such a big part of the Amazon journey but says he believes he’s ready to move on to something new. “For some time, I have discussed my intent to transition out of Amazon with my family and others close to me, but I wanted to ensure the teams were set up for success. I feel confident that time is now.”

What Is Dave Clark’s Net Worth?

As of May 2022, Clark has an estimated net worth of $26 million, including 5,000 shares of Amazon stock worth more than $12 million based on today’s price. During his time with Amazon, he was among the highest paid executives, making $56 million in 2021 alone.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are only those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.



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Amazon.com Says Unfairly Targeted by US Antitrust Bill


WASHINGTON—Big tech has launched a media blitz aimed at derailing one of the most ground-breaking bipartisan bills in the U.S. that would bar tech companies, like Amazon.com Inc, from giving preference to their own businesses on their websites.

Amazon lambasted the bill on Wednesday saying in a blog post that the bill “jeopardizes two of the things American consumers love most about Amazon: the vast selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast, free shipping through Amazon Prime.”

It argued the bill targets one retailer, Amazon, by requiring a market value of at least $550 billion to qualify for regulation, thus excluding Walmart and Target.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican, are lead co-sponsors of the bill.

A spokesperson for Klobuchar, when asked about the Amazon post, said: “Who do you trust? The largest online retailer in America with a demonstrated record of stiffing small businesses and lying about this bill’s impact, or small businesses themselves?”

The spokesperson also listed business groups, which back the bill, including Small Business Rising and Main Street Alliance.

The Senate could vote on the bill as early as this month, a source familiar with the situation said, helping explain the growing voice of opposition. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, despite hefty lobbying from top executives like Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. It also passed the House Judiciary Committee last year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to the Senate Tuesday, called the bill “misguided” and said it would “be an overhaul of the American economy, one sector at a time.”

Pro-tech groups that oppose the bill include the Chamber of Progress, TechNet, and the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

The Chamber of Progress said late last month that the bill, if it became law, would “break popular consumer products,” specifically Amazon Prime, Google Maps, and Apple apps for the iPhone. It’s been running an online ad saying “Senator Klobuchar wants to erase Amazon Basics,” Amazon branded products.

Senate sponsors have said if the bill becomes law that Alphabet’s Google would be allowed to show maps and answer queries, that companies could offer free shipping, and cell phones that could be sold with pre-installed apps.

Amazon argued the bill could harm the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that sell goods on its website as its large fines for violations “would make it difficult to justify the risk of Amazon offering a marketplace in which selling partners can participate.”

By David Shepardson and Diane Bartz

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