Amazon Annual Letter from Jeff Bezos

AmazonI always love when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos puts out his annual shareholder letter.

2015 Letter to Amazon Shareholders

Amazon has been an incredible growth story, and while their treatment of employees has come under fire, they have some very interesting things to learn from.

In this year’s letter, Bezos writes about the core similarity between their e-commerce business and the cloud business, AWS (which reached $10B in revenue faster than Amazon did itself):

“They share a distinctive organizational culture that cares deeply about and acts with conviction on a small number of principles. I’m talking about customer obsession rather than competitor obsession, eagerness to invent and pioneer, willingness to fail, the patience to think long-term, and the taking of professional pride in operational excellence.”

We try to emulate many of these philosophies at RunSignup. Of all of them, I think a focus on the long term is the key. If you focus on the long term, then you begin to realize the value of all the other things – focus ing on customer needs, willingness to fail, and a need to have operational excellence.

Bezos does this by ignoring conventional wisdom of Wall Street and a quarterly focus. If you follow Amazon stock you will see it goes up and down a lot because of quarterly misses or overachievements. Bezos does not care anything about the quarterly report and has a singular focus on the long term.

As he wrote in his first Annual Letter:

“But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com.”

We feel the same way about RunSignUp and the technology we can bring to the endurance community. We can’t wait for the future!

P.S. We also loved seeing mention of AWS Aurora being the fastest growing service ever for AWS. As we have learned, it is amazing!

Author: RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, RunSignUp Go for Race Day, RunSignUp RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Blacklight Run, Bubble Run, Night Nation, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2015, over 10,000 races used the system to register more than 2.7 million participants. In 2016 over 14,000 races will use the system to process over 4.3 million paid registrations. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit www.RunSignUp.com.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Annual Letter from Jeff Bezos”

  1. Amazon is a great company to emulate. I worked for 20 years at Fedex. It has a longer term approach than most companies as well. Fred Smith would always say that if you take care of the customer, your business will survive long term. He also said that profits are the lifeblood of a company, and you have to have them to survice, but supporting the needs and requirements of the customer is always the number one objective.

    1. Yes, FedEx is another great long term company that understands the investments needed to make customers successful.

      To your point about profits, it is a very important part of the equation. We talk a lot about the “three legged stool” where employees, customers and owners are equal partners. We think if we offer a good enough service we should be able to pay our employees really well and I (Bob) should earn money on my investment of money and time.

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