Amazon outlines four key business pillars

At Innovation Day.

Amazon Web Services chief architect, Glenn Core (pictured) discussed the importance of innovating at scale and outlined the four key pillars that are integral to the Amazon business, at the company’s first Innovation Day in Sydney.

“The number one question we get from our customers is how do we innovate? What is the process of innovation? How does Amazon continue to innovate and push the boundaries? This led us to create today’s agenda with Amazon global executives to share insights and lessons learnt. We want to inspire what is possible,” he said.

“Every employee hired by Amazon is given a copy of Jeff Bezos’ 1997 letter to shareholders, where he first said mentioned Day 1 culture and customer obsession, which remain true in 2018. There are four key pillars to the Amazon business.

“First and foremost, true customer obsession. We have 14 leadership principles with the first principle being customer obsession and the last principle being deliver results. If you always start with the customer and work backwards from there, you will end up delivering the result.

“Many businesses want to deliver the result first but that often translates to the amount of profit they want to make without thinking about the customer. We call it the ‘working backward’ process.

“Secondly, resisting proxies and being as close to the customer as possible, particularly when it comes to consumer feedback. A proxy can come in many forms, but let’s talk about data.

“If you are running an online business, you may find you are receiving increased customer engagement, your website is loading faster, everything looks good, so therefore, let’s keep going with our decisions because that’s what the data is telling us. But it’s more important to be in contact with the customer and take out the middle layer as much as you can.”

“Thirdly, to embrace external tailwinds – there are always greater things happening outside of your organisation. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that is sweeping the industry. Embrace it or miss out. It is one of the biggest revolutions. With Amazon Go, we embraced AI, video and IoT to change the consumer experience.

“Fourthly, high velocity decision making or the ability to make a decision quickly. If you think it’s the right thing to do, just do it.

“With these four pillars, we are able to continue to act as a Day 1 business.”

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