The Thinking That Powers The Amazon Machine

Colin Bryar

with Colin Bryar

Senior Advisor, Author, and Speaker

The Thinking That Powers The Amazon Machine

The Thinking That Powers The Amazon Machine 2190 2190 33Voices

Twenty years from now, the case study on Amazon will not only showcase an unparalleled customer obsession, and an always evolving invention machine – perhaps more importantly – it will shine a light on exemplary leadership.  Two such leaders – Colin Bryar and Bill Carr chat with Moe about the methods & principles that make Amazon –  Amazon.

Why it’s Always Day-One

As an early adaptor and an avid reader, I was one who was intrigued by the idea of Amazon, and the possibility of having books delivered, particularly back in 1995.  Not only did it bring about convenience; but it was also a glimpse of a future that was going to be very different than the present.

Obviously, a lot has changed since; still my fascination with the organization has only increased.  As a keen observer and student of individual and organizational greatness; I don’t know of another institution over the past two decades that has reimagined the aspects of how we work and live as Amazon has.  From supreme convenience, personalized recommendations, and insanely-fast shipping, to cloud infrastructure and organizational excellence – Amazon continues to exemplify how a modern organization behaves when it truly does obsess over its customers.

Of course, that experience we feel as consumers, carries with it a steep price for those who help bring it to life – and rarely has there been an accurate picture of what keeps that invention machine churning – that’s why I was excited to see Colin Bryar and Bill Carr’s book – Working backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon.  In it, they synthesize their combined three decades of ‘being Amazonian’ into a thinking framework, and a set of tools that will invite you to rethink the manner in which you approach company building, operational excellence, and your own personal reinvention.

A forty-five minute conversation hardly captures the depth of their imagination; still you’ll get a sense of what “Day-one” is really all about.  Here are the areas we discuss:

  • How ‘Being Amazonian’ shaped who they are – personally and professionally?
  • What the outsiders routinely get wrong about Amazon?
  • The evolution of Jeff Bezos’ leadership philosophy.
  • The Leadership principles and how they drive all decisions – large and small.
  • Amazon’s decision making framework and the difference between a type 1 and type 2 decision?
  • Why input metrics are a much better predictor of growth?
  • The leader’a evolution inside Amazon – from “What’ to “How’ to “Who”.
  • The management science that multiplies output and ignites greatness in others?
  • Why it’s important that leaders disconfirm their beliefs?
  • The philosophy behind the ‘Bar Raiser’ hiring framework and its impact on retention?
  • Resources: