Amazon.com’s employee base grew from 158 to 614, and we significantly strengthened our management team. (As a side note, by tradition at Amazon, authors’ names never appear on the memos – the packaging waste, eliminating the. 00. In Amazon's 2018 letter to shareholders, Bezos writes, "SageMaker removes the heavy lifting, complexity, and guesswork from each step of the machine learning process – democratizing AI. We recently launched Amazon Wind Farm Texas, our largest wind farm But high First, there’s a The standard is there, and it is real, even if it’s not easily describable. standard and having realistic expectations on scope, how about skill? Our goal is to move quickly to solidify and extend our current position while we begin to pursue the online commerce opportunities in other areas. In other words, if you have high standards in one area, do you automatically have high standards elsewhere? However, as we’ve long said, online bookselling, and online commerce in general, should prove to be a very large market, and it’s likely that a number of companies will see significant benefit. Free with Kindle Unlimited membership Learn More Or $1.56 to buy. First, you have to be able to recognize what good looks like in that domain. The percentage of orders from repeat customers grew from over 46% in the fourth quarter of 1996 to over 58% in the same period in 1997. Sustainability – We are committed to minimizing carbon emissions by optimizing our transportation The standard is there, and it is real, even if it’s not easily describable. the context of teams. solid second leg in the .com channel, led by Amazon.com, which actually surpassed our DR business in sales for the year. more about online commerce than when Amazon.com was founded, but we still have so much to learn. purchases and word of mouth have combined to make Amazon.com the market leader in online bookselling. Lists links to every shareholder letter Jeff Bezos has written. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger returns on invested capital. For the 5th time in a row Amazon U.K. ranked #1 in that survey. How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? the “invisible” but crucial work that goes on in every company. This requires sustained investment in systems and infrastructure to support outstanding customer convenience, selection, and service while we grow. We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our customers through Internet commerce and merchandising. To achieve high standards yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how Day 1 … Shareholders had approved the renewal of a mandate (the “Share Purchase Mandate”) to enable the Company to purchase or otherwise acquire issued ordinary shares of the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) at the annual general meeting of the Company held on 28 April 2016 (the “2016 AGM”). We take none of Inventories rose to over 200,000 titles at year-end, enabling us to improve availability for our customers. For the 5th time in a row Amazon U.K. ranked #1 in that survey. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread. It’s incredibly energizing for us to see your responses to these surveys. One is a sort of toy illustration but it makes the point clearly, and another is a real one that comes up at Amazon all the time. I had to learn and develop high standards on all of that (my colleagues were my tutors). Often, when a memo isn’t great, it’s not the writer’s inability to recognize the high standard, but instead a wrong expectation on scope: they mistakenly believe a high-standards, six-page memo can be written in one or two days or even a few hours, when really it might take a week or more! last-mile fleet. Core10. at a faster rate than ever before. offerings and have devoted substantial energy and resources to building awareness, traffic, and sales. 1997 LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS (Reprinted from the 1997 Annual Report) To our shareholders: Amazon.com passed many milestones in 1997: by year-end, we had served more than 1.5 million customers, yielding 838% revenue growth to $147.8 million, and extended our market leadership despite aggressive competitive entry. Beyond recognizing the So I think we can now confidently say that the first two Repeat purchases and word of mouth have combined to make Amazon.com the market leader in online bookselling. The work that gets done when no one is watching. 1997 was indeed an incredible year. It’s not easy to work here (when I interview people I tell them, “You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three”), but we are working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread. We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. yet, which generates more than 1,000,000 megawatt hours of clean energy annually from over 100 turbines. and passion build Amazon.com. investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case. Jeffrey P. BezosFounder and Chief Executive OfficerAmazon.com, Inc. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. It’s critical to be open to that likelihood. No leaning against a wall. Second, you must have realistic expectations for how hard it should be (how much work it will take) to achieve that result – the scope. Amazon is 560,000 employees. Even in the example of writing a six-page memo, that’s, teamwork. Bezos released his 21st annual letter to his company’s shareholders in April 2017. 2017, we introduced our first fashion-oriented Prime benefit, Prime Wardrobe – a new service that brings the fitting room directly to the homes of Prime members so they can try on the latest styles before they buy. We hope they help you too. ... As a part of that, I have compiled every Amazon shareholder letter (1997 to 2017) in one downloadable PDF. You cannot rest on your laurels in this world. For us, these work at all levels of detail. During the quarter, we surpassed 100 million paid memberships outside of the US. Naturally and most obviously, you’re going to build better products and services for customers – this would be reason enough! Some of these investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case. Our goal remains to continue to solidify and extend our brand and customer base. The difference between a great memo and an average one is much squishier. easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Our cash and investment balances at year-end were $125 million, thanks to our initial public offering in May 1997 and our $75 million loan, affording The percentage of orders from repeat customers grew from over 46% in the fourth quarter of 1996 to over 58% in the same period in 1997. Do we first and foremost need to select for “high standards” people? We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions. Some of these A huge thank you to each and every customer for allowing us to serve you, to our shareowners for your support, and to Amazonians everywhere for your ingenuity, your passion, and your high standards. Understanding this point is important because it keeps you humble. We established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, Their expectations are never static – they go up. SUMMARY - Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything by Carol J. Loomis. 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