How Amazon plans to stay a 'Day 1' company
In a new letter to Amazon shareholders, Bezos compares "Day 1" companies — companies that are at the beginning of their potential — with "Day 2" companies.
"Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1," he writes. "Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen," Bezos writes.
Changes ushered in by artificial intelligence and machine learning will help the companies that embrace them and put up barriers for those who don’t.
“But much of what we do with machine learning happens beneath the surface,” he writes. “Machine learning drives our algorithms for demand forecasting, product search ranking, product and deals recommendations, merchandising placements, fraud detection, translations, and much more. Though less visible, much of the impact of machine learning will be of this type -- quietly but meaningfully improving core operations.”
Earlier this week, Amazon was reportedly seen a possible bidder for Whole Foods Market Inc. According to reports, Bezos pondered a takeover of the organic-food chain last fall but didn’t pursue a deal.
Activist investor Jana Partners LLC istead acquired a stake in Whole Foods last week and urged the company to evaluate a sale.