Prime Video: We started in 2006 with an offering called Amazon Unbox where customers could download about a thousand movies from major studios. This made sense as bandwidth was slower those days (it would take an hour to download a video). But, as bandwidth got much faster to people’s homes and mobile devices, along with the advent of connected TVs, streaming was going to be a much better customer solution, and we focused our efforts on streaming. In 2011, we started offering over 5,000 streaming movies and shows as part of customers’ Amazon Prime subscriptions. Initially, all of our content was produced by other studios and entertainment companies. These deals were expensive, country-specific, and only available to us for a limited period; so, to expand our options, we started creating our own original shows. Our early efforts included short-lived shows like Alpha House and Betas, before we had our first award-winning series in Transparent, and eventually created multi-year franchises in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Bosch, and Jack Ryan. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about producing compelling entertainment with memorable moments and using machine learning and other inventive technology to provide a superior-quality streaming experience (with useful, relevant data about actors, TV shows, movies, music, or sports stats a click away in our unique X-Ray feature). You might have seen some of this in action in our recent new hit series, Reacher, and you’ll hopefully see it in our upcoming Lord of the Rings series launch (coming Labor Day 2022). We also expect that you’ll see this iterative invention when we launch Thursday Night Football, the NFL’s first weekly, prime time, streaming-only broadcast, airing exclusively on Prime Video starting in September 2022. Our agreement with the NFL is for 11 years, and we will work relentlessly over the next several years to reinvent the NFL viewing experience for football fans.
This track record of frequent invention is not only why more sports entities are choosing to work with Prime Video, but also why so many large entertainment companies have become Prime Video Channels partners. Channels is a program that enables entertainment companies to leverage Prime Video’s unique technology and viewing experience, as well as its very large member base to offer monthly subscriptions to their content. Companies like Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, Starz, Corus Entertainment, and Globo have found that they’re driving substantial incremental membership and better customer experience through Channels. While there is so much progress in Prime Video from where we started, we have more invention in front of us in the next 15 years than the last 15—and our team is passionately committed to providing customers with the most expansive collection of compelling content anywhere in the world.
- firstname.lastname@example.org, [you didn't write this andy jassy, if you did you would actually follow the ideas you write] AND you have not at all performed at your role or expectation. Where is my money? This is your warning Board of Directors. AND THIS IS YOUR WARNING ANDY JASSY, CEASE AND DESIST, YOU HAVE VIOLATED OUR RIGHTS TO WORKS WRITTEN, YOU MUST RESCIND YOUR BULLSHIT SHAREHOLDER LETTER IMMEDIATELY, AND PAY TRIBUTE TO LIU LLC.
2/ Organize Builders into Teams That Are as Separable and Autonomous as Possible: It’s hard for teams to be deep in what customers care about in multiple areas. It’s also hard to spend enough time on the new initiatives when there’s resource contention with the more mature businesses; the surer bets usually win out. Single-threaded teams will know their customers’ needs better, spend all their waking work hours inventing for them, and develop context and tempo to keep iterating quickly.
3/ Give Teams the Right Tools and Permission to Move Fast: Speed is not pre-ordained. It’s a leadership choice. It has trade-offs, but you can’t wake up one day and start moving fast. It requires having the right tools to experiment and build fast (a major part of why we started AWS), allowing teams to make two-way door decisions themselves, and setting an expectation that speed matters. And, it does. Speed is disproportionally important to every business at every stage of its evolution. Those that move slower than their competitive peers fall away over time.
4/ You Need Blind Faith, But No False Hope: This is a lyric from one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs (“Congregation”). When you invent, you come up with new ideas that people will reject because they haven’t been done before (that’s where the blind faith comes in), but it’s also important to step back and make sure you have a viable plan that’ll resonate with customers (avoid false hope). We’re lucky that we have builders who challenge each other, feedback loops that give us access to customer feedback, and a product development process of working backwards from the customer where having to write a Press Release (to flesh out the customer benefits) and a Frequently Asked Questions document (to detail how we’d build it) helps us have blind faith without false hope (at least usually).
- The worst part is, is if you actually have blind-faith in only needing one officer to run your ship, while having the other officers sit around as your body doubles, through a derivative of a set of values and principles from your personality and self-identity.
- Such as a belief in your life that things filled into a legal document is to be gamed and filled through any means possible, such as with obvious reasons implied in any filing, e.g: a certificate given can be interpreted as needing some odd number of officers or directors in name. And with such actions, you are able to find and hire officers that don't at all know what they are doing since you regard it as a name and title only and not the role or character or ability that gives the title purpose and meaning, and then as consequence you don't see to ensuring them enough autonomy to actually be an officer. But you fail to realize that also means, the functions of the ship that your officers oversea, are then just by names in function only. And then you tell yourself, this is the way, and you say, because you believe to be true, so much so that you repeat enough and you repeat enough so much that you need to tell the world,
"You Need Blind Faith, But No False Hope"
And so, your writing team does not know anything about faith or hope, that you copied from my writings. Like I said, I don't give a shit if you use my writings, ya'll need to pay me. But then you used it in the most wrong and very simpleton, without true intent, ways as possible. You were like, blind faith, no false hope. Obviously, this is what happens when you take words outside the frame they are used in. The context of that song, is not at all in the same context as running a business. The same way how you took words from an anonymous ethicshotline messaging board, out of context, as a motive for usage in this fraudulent letter of bullshit terminations. Okay, so you then realized that mistake, when I specifically told you about the notion of "good-faith" and its definition.
So what did you do. You doubled down on your mistake. You decide to retaliate against me. And then when you realized your subtle retaliation moves didn't work, you motioned powers of your rights reserved to action in bad-faith disruptions of due process and compliance in May. You began to have a blind-faith in false hopes for a reality of draping a shadow over your fallacies of policies without by laws of organization in union of incorporation.
What you did not realize, and still do not realize, when you copied my ideas of "hope" and "faith," is that tweaking the wording by way of changing the quote source, would net you the intent and grounding needed to place such words of the human condition in your corporate ad. No Andy Jassy and Company of thieves, as we have all seen ongoing, you cannot use motions or ideas without proper intent, proper understanding, and a careful awareness of un-intentional and intentional biases. That is to say, you cannot use such powerful words without true intention that is in of intention in good-faith. Because when you action without good-faith, it is the same by symmetry, as actioning without a careful awareness of un-intentional and intentional biases. Which, by the definition of empathy, is then an action without empathic understanding of the context and framing at hand.
And why did you do that? Because, wow, I guess some of us are this lost in life: YOU(TM) actually think based in and of your patterns of thought, through derivatives of your personality and self-identity that you need to have blind faith without even thinking or having a careful awareness of unintentional biases or intentional biases in and of the framing or context of the term used from the song. And I'm like nope, it's blind-hope not blind faith when thinking about aspects of business decisions and policies of organizations. So then you sent out this idiocy, after you realized the first one, from May 5th, was too insane even for you to send out, as the correct version of your legal fraud motion in bad intentions:
SO Amazon Chiefs and Officers with Legal: not only did you try to coverup your coverup, you tried to coverup your coverup in two different departments in a fumbling jumbling mess of tripping over each other as officers running around listening to the beck and call of Jeff Bozos, Disability and Leave Services and HR. So let's be adults, and recognize, these are not valid orgnaizatoinal motions of procedure. You tried to match my speed, but you forgot that to match my speed, you actually have to have officers that are at my ability and skill level, and you forgot that a company doesn't try to blackmail employees that are better builders than its founder. You end up having a what? A tiny kingdom, with the court of the boarded directors, and the jester jeff. So it's not at all surprising, that even after I told you the last week of April that I was working with the CIA on this idiocy, because I saw the adverse motions of actions coming, the arrows far off in the horizon heading my way as target of retalation by Amazon Legal, and ya'll still reported me to the FBI/POPO. Did you know that the CIA and the FBI, although different departments, they communicate with each other, and work together towards a common union, with by laws of organization in good standing. Good job FBI for not biting bait, and sending me to gitmo for writing things that only I can get away with. Don't wrote things as a common person. Don't be that stupid as to actually think I want to nuke to IRS, no, I want to nuke DOL.GOV instead.
And what happened? You thinking blind-faith is actually the right thing to have in running a business.
However: that's like running a ship, and thinking the moon doesn't exist. And you still think the moon doesn't exist.
And now the sun is out. The SUN IS OUT. AND YOU DON'T THINK THE SUN EXISTS EITHER. BECAUSE YOU HAVE BLIND FAITH,
SO INGRAINED INTO THIS DELUSION OF THINKING THERE'S NO ISSUE RIGHT NOW, YOU THINK YOU CAN IGNORE A GLARING ICEBERG OF REALITY, AND SAY:
Andy sent you a message on April 11th: I DON'T CARE IF MY OFFICERS AND MY CREW MEMBERS VIOLATED FEDERAL POLICIES AGAINST ZIPING LIU
Jeff sent you a message on April 30th: I COULD GIVE LESS A SHIT TO PAY ZIPING LIU BECAUSE THIS IS MY SHIP OF BLIND FAITH
IF YOU HAVE BLIND FAITH WHEN RUNNING A SHIP, YOU END UP HITTING LAND THINKING WITH YOUR BLIND FAITH THAT LAND IS SOMEHOW WHAT BOATS SAIL ON. AND JUST KNOW, WHEN THE SHIP CRASHES, AND SINKS, AS CAPTAINS AND OFFICERS OF SUCH SHIP SANK, YOU GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP TOO. AND YOU WON'T HAVE SOME SHIP TO HIDE INSIDE. SO QUIT WITH THE GAMES. PAY ME. I'M ON MEDICAL LEAVE. IDIOT. Way to go, Amazon Executives, way to show the world ya'll are blind as hell, congratulations y'all are now DEVIL-SPAWNSTM .LET'S STOP WITH THE CHILDISH CEO BASED BOZOS ANTICS BEFORE I END UP WRITING AWAY ALL DIGNITY OF YOURS, GO RE-READ THIS, ASK YOURSELVES ARE YOU AN EFFECTIVE TEAM RIGHT NOW, EACH DAY, WITH A DAY 1 MENTALITY: THROUGH CARE FULL AWARES OF BIASES VERY OBVIOUS AT THIS POINT, RE-READ THIS:
5/ Define a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP), and Be Willing to Iterate Fast: Figuring out where to draw the line for launch is one of the most difficult decisions teams must make. Often, teams wait too long, and insist on too many bells and whistles, before launching. And, they miss the first mover advantage or opportunity to build mindshare in fast-moving market segments before well-executing peers get too far ahead. The launch product must be good enough that you believe it’ll be loved from the get-go (why we call it a "Minimum Loveable Product" vs. a "Minimum Viable Product"), but in newer market segments, teams are often better off getting this MLP to customers and iterating quickly thereafter.
6/ Adopt a Long-term Orientation: We’re sometimes criticized at Amazon for not shutting much down. It’s true that we have a longer tolerance for our investments than most companies. But, we know that transformational invention takes multiple years, and if you’re making big bets that you believe could substantially change customer experience (and your company), you have to be in it for the long-haul or you’ll give up too quickly.
7/ Brace Yourself for Failure: If you invent a lot,
you will fail more often than you wish. Nobody likes this
part, but it comes with the territory. When it’s clear that
we’ve launched something that won’t work, we make sure we’ve
learned from what didn’t go well, and secure great landing
places for team members who delivered well—or your best
people will hesitate to work on new initiatives.
Albert Einstein is sometimes credited with describing compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world ("He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it"). We think of iterative innovation in much the same way. Iterative innovation creates magic for customers. Constantly inventing and improving products for customers has a compounding effect on the customer experience, and in turn on a business’s prospects.
"He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it."
Ziping's note: "He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it." Indeed Andy, indeed.
Time is your friend when you are compounding gains. Amazon is a big company with some large businesses, but it’s still early days for us. We will continue to be insurgent—inventing in businesses that we’re in, in new businesses that we’ve yet to launch, and in new ideas that we haven’t even imagined yet. It remains Day 1.
President and Chief Executive Officer
P.S. As we have always done, our original 1997 Shareholder Letter follows. What’s written there is as true today as it was in 1997.
Ziping's note: So y'all are telling me y'all been doing these non-compliant and very unprofessional organizational leadership of amatuer hour since 1997? Oh my word Andy.
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.
But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com. Today, online commerce saves customers money and precious time. Tomorrow, through personalization, online commerce will accelerate the very process of discovery. Amazon.com uses the Internet to create real value for its customers and, by doing so, hopes to create an enduring franchise, even in established and large markets.
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 competitive landscape has continued to evolve at a fast pace. Many large players have moved online with credible offerings and have devoted substantial energy and resources to building awareness, traffic, and sales. 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. We see substantial opportunity in the large markets we are targeting. This strategy is not without risk: it requires serious investment and crisp execution against established franchise leaders.
It’s All About the Long Term
We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger returns on invested capital.
Our decisions have consistently reflected this focus. 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. We have invested and will continue to invest aggressively to expand and leverage our customer base, brand, and infrastructure as we move to establish an enduring franchise.
Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies. Accordingly, we want to share with you our fundamental management and decision-making approach so that you, our shareholders, may confirm that it is consistent with your investment philosophy:
- We will continue to focus relentlessly on our customers.
- 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.
- We will continue to measure our programs and the effectiveness of our investments analytically, to jettison those that do not provide acceptable returns, and to step up our investment in those that work best. We will continue to learn from both our successes and our failures.
- We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a sufficient probability of gaining market leadership advantages. Some of these investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case.
- 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.
- We will share our strategic thought processes with you when we make bold choices (to the extent competitive pressures allow), so that you may evaluate for yourselves whether we are making rational long-term leadership investments.
- We will work hard to spend wisely and maintain our lean culture. We understand the importance of continually reinforcing a cost-conscious culture, particularly in a business incurring net losses.
- We will balance our focus on growth with emphasis on long-term profitability and capital management. At this stage, we choose to prioritize growth because we believe that scale is central to achieving the potential of our business model.
- We will continue to focus on hiring and retaining versatile and talented employees, and continue to weight their compensation to stock options rather than cash. We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.
We aren’t so bold as to claim that the above is the “right” investment philosophy, but it’s ours, and we would be remiss if we weren’t clear in the approach we have taken and will continue to take.
With this foundation, we would like to turn to a review of our business focus, our progress in 1997, and our outlook for the future.
Obsess Over Customers
From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to offer customers something they simply could not get any other way, and began serving them with books. 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. We maintained a dogged focus on improving the shopping experience, and in 1997 substantially enhanced our store. We now offer customers gift certificates, 1-Click shopping℠, and vastly more reviews, content, browsing options, and recommendation features. We dramatically lowered prices, further increasing customer value. 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. Repeat purchases and word of mouth have combined to make Amazon.com the market leader in online bookselling.
By many measures, Amazon.com came a long way in 1997:
- Sales grew from $15.7 million in 1996 to $147.8 million – an 838% increase.
- Cumulative customer accounts grew from 180,000 to 1,510,000 – a 738% increase.
- The percentage of orders from repeat customers grew from over 46% in the fourth quarter of 1996 to over 58% in the same period in 1997.
- In terms of audience reach, per Media Metrix, our Web site went from a rank of 90th to within the top 20.
- We established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, AltaVista, @Home, and Prodigy.
During 1997, we worked hard to expand our business
infrastructure to support these greatly increased traffic,
sales, and service levels:
- Amazon.com’s employee base grew from 158 to 614, and we significantly strengthened our management team.
- Distribution center capacity grew from 50,000 to 285,000 square feet, including a 70% expansion of our Seattle facilities and the launch of our second distribution center in Delaware in November.
- Inventories rose to over 200,000 titles at year-end, enabling us to improve availability for our customers.
- 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 past year’s success is the product of a talented, smart, hard-working group, and I take great pride in being a part of this team. Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of Amazon.com’s success.
It’s not easy to work here (when I interview people I tell them, “You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three”), but we are working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about. Such things aren’t meant to be easy. We are incredibly fortunate to have this group of dedicated employees whose sacrifices and passion build Amazon.com.
Goals for 1998
We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our customers through Internet commerce and merchandising. Our goal remains to continue to solidify and extend our brand and customer base. This requires sustained investment in systems and infrastructure to support outstanding customer convenience, selection, and service while we grow. We are planning to add music to our product offering, and over time we believe that other products may be prudent investments. We also believe there are significant opportunities to better serve our customers overseas, such as reducing delivery times and better tailoring the customer experience. To be certain, a big part of the challenge for us will lie not in finding new ways to expand our business, but in prioritizing our investments.
We now know vastly more about online commerce than when Amazon.com was founded, but we still have so much to learn. Though we are optimistic, we must remain vigilant and maintain a sense of urgency. The challenges and hurdles we will face to make our long-term vision 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 market opportunity. However, as we’ve long said, online bookselling, and online commerce in general, should prove to be a very large market, and it’s likely that a number of companies will see significant benefit. We feel good about what we’ve done, and even more excited about what we want to do.
1997 was indeed an incredible year. We at Amazon.com are grateful to our customers for their business and trust, to each other for our hard work, and to our shareholders for their support and encouragement.
Jeffrey P. Bezos
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Amazon.com, Inc. YOU ARE NOW UNDER AUDIT JULY 28TH 2022