As once the special counsel Lanny Davis advised President Clinton on the subject of Monika Lewinsky: tell it early, tell it all, tell it yourself.
From the letter to Amazon shareholders:
There are some subtle traps that even high-performing large organizations can fall into as a matter of course, and we’ll have to learn as an institution how to guard against them. One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is “one-size-fits-all” decision making.
Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups.
As organizations get larger, there seems to be a tendency to use the heavy-weight Type 1 decision-making process on most decisions, including many Type 2 decisions. The end result of this is slowness, unthoughtful risk aversion, failure to experiment sufficiently, and consequently diminished invention.1 We’ll have to figure out how to fight that tendency.
Amazon Lending provided aggregate funding of over $1.5 billion to micro, small and medium businesses across the U.S., U.K. and Japan through short-term loans, with a total outstanding loan balance of about $400 million
Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales
On outsized returns / risk taking: Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time
On corporate culture: The reason cultures are so stable in time is because people self-selec