Notes on

Invent and Wander

by Jeff Bezos

This book is mainly composed of the Amazon shareholder letters, written by Jeff Bezos. I've attempted to draw out some core values that stand out to me. As far as I can see, Amazon has stayed true to their values, which fascinates me.

  • Obsess over customers
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Think long term
  • Cultivate learning
  • The standard should always be rising. New hires this year should be better than those from last year.

A dreamy business offering

These have at least 4 characteristics, as described by Bezos

  • Customers love it
  • Can grow very large
  • Has strong returns on capital
  • Is durable in time


Don't use a one-size-fits-all decision-making process. Many decisions are reversible; so what if you get it wrong?

Make decisions with 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, you're too slow. If you get good at course correcting, being wrong isn't as bad. However, being slow is expensive.

Even if people don't agree, sometimes it can be better to just disagree but commit to doing it/not doing it nevertheless. And that doesn't just mean that you, the boss, are always right. You do it too.

Think three years ahead. Do your best to make few, really high-quality decisions - and optimize for that (sleep, health, etc.).

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