The unbelievable breadth of Amazon

Over the last four years, Amazon has nearly tripled its total number of employees to become the second-largest US company,…
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Over the last four years, Amazon has nearly tripled its total number of employees to become the second-largest US company, and by this metric is outranked only by Walmart. By another benchmark, things are going swimmingly as well: last year the company’s trailblazing CEO, Jeff Bezos, became the world’s richest person. While the company’s South American jungle namesake may have made headlines for less fortunate reasons in recent weeks, Amazon the iconic firm is all about growth, in ways that are nothing short of spectacular.


Quirky culture


The Seattle-based company deserves a reputation for doing things differently and successfully. A real in-house hit that resonated with customers as well was the Share the Pi scheme, which gave buyers a 1.57 per cent discount – pi, or 3.14, cut in half. Bezos has had a cameo in a Star Trek drama with an alien-chic look, boasts owning a Starfleet uniform and credits the sci-fi novels he continues to devour as a source of deep inspiration about what happens when you dream big, and double down on making dreams come true. Amazon’s re:MARS Conference (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) held earlier this year in Las Vegas consciously connects the fantastic with the everyday, fueling both our collective thirst for convenience and our expectations that the once unheard of can be achieved, if we persevere. Amazon’s Prime Air delivery drone is said to be in the final stages of development and will be unveiled in a matter of months.


Keeping an eye out on death and taxes


The only things seemingly capable of bringing things back down to earth are the mundane matters like taxes. Calls have been made from all sides of the political spectrum for the company’s huge profits to be looked at afresh. But with Amazon’s leadership principles like “never say ‘that’s not my job,’” taken seriously, the future looks assured, as does the firm’s long-term prospects. Amazon’s focus on survivability is best reflected in what its leader calls ‘Day One Thinking’ and how every day should be seen as the first day a company has ever existed. Any day after day one is “Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death,” Bezos wrote to shareholders a couple of years ago. “And that is why it is always Day One.”


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