The Institutional Yes
How Amazon’s CEO leads strategic change in a culture obsessed with today’s customer.
An Interview with Jeff Bezos by Julia Kirby and Thomas A. Stewart
Amazon.com was born of strategy. The story has often been told of how founder Jeff Bezos, working in a quantitative analysis group at an investment firm, spotted an opportunity to sell books on the Internet. No native of the book-selling industry, he arrived at his business model logically: Given the attributes of the product and the structure of the supply chain, a no-bricks retailer could clearly make it—and make it big. Since its founding, in 1995, Amazon has continued to show a knack for spotting white spaces and a willingness to jump into them, even as it works to make spaces it already occupies more productive. The company’s latest bold move is its “developer-facing” business: a set of offerings that make tools Amazon developed for its own use available to other website developers. Like so many other Amazon ventures, this one is based on sound logic—yet it’s surprising. It’s not the kind of thing one sees many companies doing.