_Working Backwards_, recent book on how Amazon runs.

Notes:

  • central is thinking about product features, not business. The business funds the product, the customer value – it’s the McGuffin that you careful guide to being cash flow. The question here is to find other org.s that have adopted abs adapted the practices successfully, or not.
  • the advice at the end is pretty straightforward – the practices are kind of simple, so applying them just means deciding to do them – just like deciding to diet and exercise. It’s the deciding and sticking to it that’s hard.
  • an analysis of this book requires an approach: don’t halo effect/shoot down the book and triumphs, focus on describing why others find it hard to act this way. This book isn’t wrong in it’s own story: the challenge is “scaling” the lessons learned to other orgs.
  • They Still do intense annual planning, do they just do it “better”?
  • Comp of max 160 and lots of equity is good? Probably.
  • “wasted time” a common phrase, in interview chapter.
  • people interested in high performance, not quality of life…?
  • dependencies – something you need but can’t control/build/etc.
  • we spent too much time coordinating and not enough building.
  • dependency discussion (when they had a monolith) is a good business view in this tech stuff – do most LoB execs (outside Amazon) have this much IT knowledge?’
  • Two pizza teams changes to single threaded leader – lots it emphasis on one person owning one thing, all parts of that thing. End-to-end.
  • not a what decision, a who and how – figuring out how to respond to iTunes on Windows.
  • Needs a long term focus.
  • there isn’t talk of the “boring” retail business – warehouses/logistics, purchasing from suppliers, etc. how is that all run?