The competitive landscape has continued to evolve at a fast pace. failures along the way. With those experiences as backdrop, Id like to share with you the essentials of what weve learned (so far) about high standards inside an organization. Every Amazon Shareholder Letter in a Single Downloadable PDF. In terms of audience reach, per Media Metrix, our Web site went from a rank of 90th to within the top 20. didnt ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. And just a few weeks ago, Harris Poll released its annual Reputation Quotient, which surveys over 25,000 consumers on a Its critical to be open to that likelihood. standards in general and still have debilitating blind spots. In my view, not so much, at least not for the individual in the context of teams. The reality is that it takes about six months of daily practice. considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions. for Amazon.com a reality are several: aggressive, capable, well-funded competition; considerable growth challenges and execution risk; the risks of product and geographic expansion; and the need for large continuing investments to meet an expanding To be certain, a big part of the challenge for us will lie not in finding new ways to expand our business, but in Already today, a portion of our European delivery fleet is comprised of low-pollution electric and natural gas vans and cars, and we have over 40 electric scooters and e-cargo bikes that complete local urban deliveries. THE PROPOSED RENEWAL OF THE SHARE PURCHASE MANDATE 2.1 Background. This requires sustained investment in systems and infrastructure to support outstanding customer convenience, selection, and service while we grow. Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. Even in the example of writing a six-page memo, thats, teamwork. Amazon.com: letters to shareholders. for yourselves whether we are making rational long-term leadership investments. The credit for these milestones is deserved by many. We feel good about what Apr. To achieve high standards yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is going to be – something this coach understood well. Therefore, we set out to offer customers something they The football coach doesn’t need to be able to throw, and a film director doesn’t need to be able to act. offerings and have devoted substantial energy and resources to building awareness, traffic, and sales. But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com. right investment philosophy, but its ours, and we would be remiss if we werent clear in the approach we have taken and will continue to take. Kindle Edition $0.00 $ 0. Cumulative customer accounts grew from 180,000 to 1,510,000 a 738% increase. Were also continuing to enable thousands of designers and artists to offer their exclusive designs and prints on demand through Merch by Amazon. Another important Of struggling to innovate, launch and successfully scale new multi-billion dollar businesses. Their expectations are never static – they go up. 2 LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS 2. Though we are optimistic, we must remain vigilant and maintain a sense of urgency. I believe high standards are teachable. Our goal is to move quickly to solidify and extend our current position while we begin to pursue the online commerce opportunities in other areas. relentlessly high standards many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Naturally and most obviously, you’re going to build better products and services for customers – this would be reason enough! One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. When I started Amazon, I had high standards on inventing, on customer care, and (thankfully) on hiring. Our decisions have consistently reflected this focus. But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com. infrastructure to support these greatly increased traffic, sales, and service levels: Amazon.coms employee base grew from 158 to 614, and we significantly strengthened our management team. If so, this letter would need to be mostly about hiring practices, but I dont think so. Yes, I know what youre thinking, but evidently this is an actual thing that exists. Dear Fellow Shareholders, Once again, I begin this annual letter to shareholders with a sense of pride about our company and our hundreds of thousands of employees around the world. fixed, how to eliminate defects at the root, how to inspect processes, and much more. 1997 was indeed an incredible year. me give you two examples. For the 5th time in a row Amazon U.K. ranked #1 in that survey. I believe high standards are domain specific, and that you have to learn high standards separately in every arena of interest. Bezos released his 21st annual letter to his companyâs shareholders in April 2017. investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case. Blind since birth, writing code at Amazon since 2013, How our scientists are making Alexa smarter, Amazon’s COVID-19 blog: updates on how we’re responding to the crisis, One of the world’s leading marketing executives joins Amazon, Amazon Project Zero launches in 7 new countries, Customers acknowledge Amazon with high marks in The Axios Harris Poll 100, Amazon receives FCC approval for Project Kuiper satellite constellation, We’re acquiring Zoox to help bring their vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality, Amazon establishes new Counterfeit Crimes Unit. Jeff Bezos on Thursday published Amazon's annual shareholder letter, in which he called on rivals to match Amazon's pay and benefits.. Bezos also warned that because Amazon has such a â¦ learn to do a perfect free-standing handstand. When forced to choose between optimizing the appearance of our GAAP accounting and maximizing the present value of future cash flows, we’ll take the cash flows. But I didnt have high standards on operational process: how to keep fixed problems And while I certainly can’t do a handstand myself, I’m extremely proud to share some of the milestones we hit last year, each of which represents the fruition of many years of collective effort. writing example is very different. We are incredibly fortunate to have this group of dedicated employees whose sacrifices To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: Berkshireâs gain in net worth during 2017 was $65.3 billion, which increased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 23%. encouragement. Such things arent meant to be easy. We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions. Sometimes they come in at the other end of the spectrum. We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical store (our store would now occupy 6 football fields), and presented it in a useful, easy-to-search, and Dear Shareholders, 1 Q4 2017 Letter to Shareholders March 6, 2018 . And across the world, Amazon is contracting with our service providers to launch our first low-pollution We will continue to learn from both our successes and our failures. For the 5th time in a row Amazon U.K. ranked #1 in that survey. 1997 LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS (Reprinted from the 1997 Annual Report) To our shareholders: Amazon.com passed many milestones in 1997: by year-end, â¦ In fact, people are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure. Understanding this point is important because it keeps you humble. This was a big year for Carvana. to end up quitting. Unrealistic beliefs on scope often hidden and undiscussed kill high standards. And finally, high standards are fun! She then practiced for a while but wasn’t getting the results she wanted. So I think we can now confidently say that the first two We have a window of opportunity as larger players marshal the resources to pursue the online opportunity and as customers, new to purchasing online, are receptive to forming new relationships. The opposite is also true. operational excellence. Our cash and investment balances at year-end were $125 million, thanks to our initial public offering in May 1997 and our $75 million loan, affording us substantial strategic flexibility. the cash flows. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful for the trust our customers have placed in us. The 2017 Bezos missive revolves around avoiding "Day 2." In the handstand example, it’s pretty straightforward to recognize high standards. high standards separately in every arena of interest. Weve also had billions of dollars worth of It’s human nature. The Fund therefore beat this benchmark in 2017, and our Fund remains ... comparisons easier, and have driven down prices and returns in retail (Amazon), transport (Uber) and lodging (Airbnb), for example. Instagram good. Such things aren’t meant to be easy. We established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, They know it when they see it. Everything from writing memos to whole new, clean-sheet business initiatives. We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability And on behalf of Amazonians everywhere, I want to extend a huge thank you to customers. Amazon was also just named the #1 business on Accordingly, we want If you take me on your basketball team, you can teach me many things, but you can’t teach me to be taller. We first measure ourselves in terms of the metrics most indicative of our market leadership: customer and revenue growth, the degree to which our customers continue to purchase from us on a repeat basis, and the strength of our brand. If you think you should be able to do it in two weeks, you’re just going to end up quitting.” Unrealistic beliefs on scope – often hidden and undiscussed – kill high standards. broad range of topics from workplace environment to social responsibility to products and services, and for the 3rd year in a row Amazon ranked #1. Customers wont have it. weve done, and even more excited about what we want to do. I had to learn and develop high standards on all of that (my colleagues were my tutors). To our shareholders: Amazon.com passed many milestones in 1997: by year-end, we had served more than 1.5 million customers, yielding 838% revenue growth to $147.8 million, and extended our market leadership despite aggressive competitive entry. Amazon (s AMZN) released its 2012 annual report (PDF) Friday, and as usual it is accompanied by a letter to shareholders (PDF) from CEO Jeff Bezos. ... 2017. Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies. With this foundation, we would like to turn to a review of Many large players have moved online with credible For us, these work at all levels of detail. First, theres a We’ve had some successes over the years in our quest to meet the high expectations of customers. In the very first lesson, the coach gave her some wonderful advice. We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical store (our store would now occupy 6 football fields), and presented it in a useful, easy- to-search, and easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. So, the four elements of high standards as we see it: they are teachable, they are domain specific, you must recognize them, You can consider yourself a person of high standards in general and still have debilitating blind spots. American Customer Satisfaction Index recently announced the results of its annual survey, and for the 8th year in a row customers ranked Amazon #1. you, to our shareowners for your support, and to Amazonians everywhere for your ingenuity, your passion, and your high standards. Building a culture of high standards is well worth the effort, and there are many benefits. prioritizing our investments. Amazon was also just named the #1 business on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Companies list, which ranks the most sought after places to work for professionals in the United States. accelerate the very process of discovery. 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