In the early 1990s, Jeff Bezos noticed something strange.
He was nearing 30, and it was at the dawn of the internet revolution. The web was nowhere near what it is today, but the thing that caught Bezos' attention was that usage was picking up at a rate of 2,300% a year.
Not wanting to miss out, he quickly made a list of 20 possible products to sell online, and eventually settled on shipping books because of their low cost and universal demand.
Amazon may have had humble beginnings, but today, that bookstore is something far more. Since their day of incorporation in 1994, they have gone on to dominate not just retail, but other industries besides.
On the surface, a few things stand out about how Bezos approached the growth of his company. He maintained a true customer obsession from the start, he never got complacent in spite of their performance, and he sacrificed short-term vanity metrics for the endgame.
As we dig a little deeper, however, it's clear that there are certain details in his execution that made the surface-level advantages possible. Every company wants to take that approach, but not all of them have the foundational decision-making framework in place to do so.
Amazon may be an enormous corporation, but their core tools are simple and quite usable. Here is what we can steal.