This afternoon after reviewing the state of it’s current businesses and expressing it’s feelings about trying out new products and services, Amazon had filed a long note to its investors. CEO Jeff Bezos took all the time he could to make those comments on Amazon’s corporate culture therefore providing a sort of late response to a NYT story from August which had placed the company in an unfavorable position based on their way of approaching things later on.
“We never claim that our approach is the right one — just that it’s ours — and over the last two decades, we’ve collected a large group of like-minded people,” Bezos writes. “Folks who find our approach energizing and meaningful.”
Bezos essentially excuses Amazon because people can go elsewhere
Although the company’s CEO never truly stated the Time’s article was the reason for those words he came out public on nor does he say anything even negative about Amazon’s corporate culture beyond leaving the door open on the idea that its possible some other company has better approach.
As a matter of fact, Bezos makes excuses for Amazon’s culture saying that its ingrained in the company, having been built up over more than 20 Years. Amazon’s culture though is fine as argued by Bezos since people who don’t see it interesting find somewhere better else to go.
“Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture,” he writes, “while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another.” The distinction seems to miss that there might be reasonably limits to apply to a company’s “competitive zeal” — like, say, when people are regularly crying in your office, as the Times‘ story says is true of Amazon.
Bezos did respond directly to the Times‘ profile a couple days after its publication, saying it “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know.” Evidently, he felt the need to address the issue again while speaking with investors. Here are his full comments on corporate culture:
A word about corporate cultures: for better or for worse, they are enduring, stable, hard to change. They can be a source of advantage or disadvantage. You can write down your corporate culture, but when you do so, you’re discovering it, uncovering it — not creating it. It is created slowly over time by the people and by events — by the stories of past success and failure that become a deep part of the company lore. If it’s a distinctive culture, it will fit certain people like a custom-made glove. The reason cultures are so stable in time is because people self-select. Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another. The world, thankfully, is full of many high-performing, highly distinctive corporate cultures. We never claim that our approach is the right one — just that it’s ours — and over the last two decades, we’ve collected a large group of like-minded people. Folks who find our approach energizing and meaningful.