cover image The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon

The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon

Steve Anderson. Morgan James, $17.95 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-1-64279-332-1

Anderson, a professional speaker on tech and business, takes a perceptive look at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s annual shareholder letters, extracting 14 key “growth principles” that both the large corporation and “solopreneur” can use to scale up. Asserting that, “in some form or another,” every principle can be found in each of the 21 letters issued to Amazon shareholders since 1997, Anderson begins with the intriguing “Encourage ‘Successful Failure,’ ” a point made by Bezos in explaining why he doesn’t regret high-profile flops like Principle 4, “Obsess Over Customers,” is illustrated by how Amazon pushed third-party merchants hosted on the site to prioritize customer care via its advocacy for “Frustration-Free Packaging.” Other principles include “Make Complexity Simple” (which led to Frustration-Free Packaging) and “Promote Ownership,” which involves the dramatic differences in mindset between an owner and a “tenant,” and the importance of getting employees to adopt the mindset of the former. Whether businesspeople can generate growth by adopting Anderson’s recommendations will have to be seen, but they should certainly enjoy the stories and observations he shares about one of the world’s most influential companies. (Sept.)