What Others Are Saying
About The Bezos Letters
The Secrets of the Wealthiest Entrepreneur in the World
Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest entrepreneur in the world, today and throughout all of history. Wouldn’t you like to pick his brain? See the world how he sees it, and rethink your own approach to business based on Amazon’s success?
Here I am writing this review on amazon.com, and you’re reading this only because Jeff set out to create the “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” in 1994. His success has allowed him to invest in Twitter early on, start a space travel company, and buy Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in cash!
Jeff has been documenting his business philosophy for two decades, but it’s been buried in investor reports that most people don’t read. What Steve has done, in this book, is brilliantly surface the 14 growth principles that show up again and again as repeated patterns of breakthrough strategy Jeff Bezos has used to succeed.
This may very well be the equivalent of an MBA or year-long coaching program, which would cost tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, you get this information for the price of one lunch! — John Meese
Already seeing positive change
This book is a roadmap of how Amazon grew into the company it is today. If you want to model anything Amazon does, read this book and start implementing the 14 principles.
Each principle introduced is very well thought out and backed up by what Bezos says in the shareholder letters and also by examples. I’ve been an Amazon customer since it’s early days and it was fun to read all the stories of the successes and failures. I remember when Amazon tried to compete with eBay… that did not work but it turned out to be the basis of another platform that is working very well today and I didn’t know that until I read the book!
It’s also great that each chapter ends with a set of questions that allow deeper thought and prompts action around that principle. Some of them are simple… like the way Bezos encourages disagreement but commitment (explained in principle seven). I’ve already implemented that and I’m seeing positive change. Some are more complex and will take more time to implement.
I’m excited to see more change in my company happening because of the action I’m taking after reading this book. Definitely pick it up this book and read it. Even if you just implement one strategy, your company will improve! — Monica Snyder
Great insights about building a high growth business
At first when I heard about this book, I thought – “really, you can divine business strategy recommendations from shareholders’ letters?” It was kind of a strange thought for me because I did a college paper where I analyzed the themes in IBM’s 100 years of shareholders’ letters. But, they were written by a whole lot of different people, rather than a single CEO. One of my favorite ideas is the last principle – Make every day, Day 1. Noticing that Amazon refers back to their first letter is a keen insight about closing the loop.
There are 3 aspects that make this book a mandatory read for business people.
#1 – The 14 principles have lots of support from academic research. The author has done an excellent job of organizing these, giving examples, and even identifying weaknesses in how Amazon is moving forward/has been unsuccessful over time.
#2 – The end of chapter questions make it easy to apply the 14 principles to any business.
#3 – It is so easy to read. Complex ideas are made simple. It flows well. The stories had flavor. And, you realize there are secrets embedded (like the 6-page memo narrative). — Micheline Kim Saxton
What if Risk Actually Drives Business Growth?
Compelling, insight-filled, and mindset-shifting. The growth principles the authors have gleaned from reviewing the Jeff Bezos letter a unique perspective on the growth of the company, but wait……there’s more…they skillfully reveal how they can apply to any business regardless of size by flipping the perspective on how risk should be viewed — delivering a compelling case that the risk mindset that has driven Amazon’s success is very different from that of most business leaders.
That insight alone is powerful, but it is far from the only one you’ll find yourself wishing you hadn’t waited so long to learn. The 6-Page memo is my favorite — it’s a game changer for any business willing to commit to the process, as are many of the other ideas revealed in the 14 growth principles.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’re serious about growing your business this book is a MUST READ. If you want to stay abreast of the best thinking in business, this book is a MUST READ. If you simply wonder about the path that has created the Amazon of today (and is busy creating the one we’ll see tomorrow), this book is a MUST READ. — Dr. Michael Hudson
Imagine the Impossible
No book goes deeper into the mind of Jeff Bezos on how he created the most innovative and customer focused company of our time. Steve and Karen Anderson dissect every letter to break down steps that any company can implement to build a culture like Amazon. The book finishes with Bezos 2018 letter where he shares how Amazon has been Imagining the Impossible. With Bezos Letters, the tools were given on how to make the impossible practical.
This book will now become our next Book Club book for my team as a tool to inspire innovation, speed of decision making and even greater customer obsession. Ideas that stood out for me: betting little on big ideas, becoming the best place in the world to fail, the 70% rule to innovation, Type 1 vs Type 2 decisions and the Amazon hiring process to building higher standards in the workplace.
One of the key growth principles laid out in the book is to “make the complexity simple.” Steve and Karen Anderson did just that in this book. What Amazon has done in every sector of their business is absolutely remarkable, but this book has broken it down into practical action steps that can be implemented today. To be successful, every company needs to test and experiment like Amazon. As Steve and Karen share “Businesses don’t have the same amount of time today than they did, even a few years ago, to evaluate the risks and opportunities they face because not doing something is a bigger risk than doing something.”
“Bezos plays to learn,” and every leader and company should do the same, starting with this book. — Jesse Cole
Other Comments — Reviews
Putting the book down was not an option…
Dear Mr and Mrs Anderson,
My name Is Stanley Juma and I’m a final year Business student from Kenya that dreams of working in Wall Street someday.
As I send this email, I have just completed your book the Bezos letters, cover to cover. I have to say, putting the book down was just not an option, I took it everywhere with me as I deeply enjoyed every second of it. The book made me feel as if I was walking down the hallways of Amazon offices and personally experiencing the company culture and their way of life under the leadership of Bezos.
If there’s one thing that really stood out is how you and Karen digested the Amazon annual letters so well that sometimes, I confused the book as an autobiography by Bezos himself!
This was a deeply enjoyable book and I feel like asking for when your next principles project is.
Elon Musk at Tesla? Steve Jobs/Tim Cook at Apple? Maybe Bill gates/Satya Nadella at Microsoft or Reed Hastings at Netflix?
Whatever it is, I can’t wait!
Thank you for enlightening my entire week through your writing.