Famous Quotes & Sayings

Brad Stone Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 89 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Brad Stone.

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Famous Quotes By Brad Stone

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really a hedge fund but a versatile technology laboratory full of innovators and talented engineers who could apply computer science to a variety of different problems.5 Investing was only the first — Brad Stone

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During one memorable meeting, a female employee pointedly asked Bezos when Amazon was going to establish a better work-life balance. He didn't take that well. "The reason we are here is to get stuff done, that is the top priority," he answered bluntly. "That is the DNA of Amazon. If you can't excel and put everything into it, this might not be the place for you. — Brad Stone

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I think it's a competitive advantage that both Amazon and Google and other tech companies have over a lot of their counterparts. They take big risks and are pioneering new markets with the promise of big rewards. It's why Amazon is kind of reliably starting new businesses and opening kind of new frontiers. — Brad Stone

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The high-tech community was getting a lesson in the dynamics of network effects - products or services become increasingly valuable as more people use them. — Brad Stone

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To me Amazon is a story of a brilliant founder who personally drove the vision," says Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google and an avowed Amazon competitor who is personally a member of Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service. "There are almost no better examples. Perhaps Apple, but people forget that most people believed Amazon was doomed because it would not scale at a cost structure that would work. — Brad Stone

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Bezos ultimately concluded that if Amazon was to continue to thrive as a bookseller in a new digital age, it must own the e-book business in the same way that Apple controlled the music business. "It is far better to cannibalize yourself than have someone else do it," said Diego Piacentini — Brad Stone

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the chairman of Random House, Alberto Vitale, told a Wall Street Journal reporter about the new online bookselling sensation from the Pacific Northwest. — Brad Stone

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They have an absolute willingness to torch the landscape around them to emerge the winner. — Brad Stone

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I see companies these days where thoughts of "exits" are foremost in the minds of top management and board, and it is so clear that this value will infect the decision making down to the smallest choice by the most junior employee. Do we create something that is good, or just that seems good and might get us acquired or funded? — Brad Stone

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You don't feel thirty percent smarter when the stock goes up by thirty percent, so when the stock goes down you shouldn't feel thirty percent dumber, — Brad Stone

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We would trust Jeff to take them to movies," Jackie Bezos says, "but the two of them would come back embarrassed, saying, 'Jeff laughs too loud.' It would be some Disney movie, and his laughter was drowning out everything." After — Brad Stone

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Rudeness is not cool. Defeating tiny guys is not cool. Close-following is not cool. Young is cool. Risk taking is cool. Winning is cool. Polite is cool. Defeating bigger, unsympathetic guys is cool. Inventing is cool. Explorers are cool. Conquerors are not cool. Obsessing over competitors is not cool. Empowering others is cool. Capturing all the value only for the company is not cool. Leadership is cool. Conviction is cool. Straightforwardness is cool. Pandering to the crowd is not cool. Hypocrisy is not cool. Authenticity is cool. Thinking big is cool. The unexpected is cool. Missionaries are cool. Mercenaries are not cool. — Brad Stone

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In customers' minds, the Amazon brand meant books only. — Brad Stone

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Mike Bezos's job took them to Miami - a city Mike had first encountered fifteen years before as a penniless immigrant. Now he was an executive at Exxon, and the family bought a four-bedroom house with a backyard pool in the affluent Palmetto neighborhood in unincorporated Dade County. Miami — Brad Stone

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Manufacturers are not allowed to enforce retail prices for their products. But they can decide which retailers to sell to, and one way they wield that power is by setting price floors with a tool called MAP, or minimum advertised price. MAP requires offline retailers like Walmart to stay above a certain price threshold in their circulars and newspaper ads. Online retailers have a higher burden. Their product pages are considered advertisements, so they have to set their promoted prices at or above MAP or else face the manufacturer's wrath and risk the firm's limiting the number of products allocated or withdrawing them altogether. — Brad Stone

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Each group was required to propose its own "fitness function" - a linear equation that it could use to measure its own impact without ambiguity. For example, a two-pizza team in charge of sending advertising e-mails to customers might choose for its fitness function the rate at which these messages were opened multiplied by the average order size those e-mails generated. A group writing software code for the fulfillment centers might home in on decreasing the cost of shipping each type of product and reducing the time that elapsed between a customer's making a purchase and the item leaving the FC in a truck. Bezos wanted to personally approve each equation and track the results over time. It would be his way of guiding a team's evolution. Bezos was applying — Brad Stone

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We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent — Brad Stone

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incidentally, all Amazon senior executives had to read - the — Brad Stone

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The idea was always that someone would be allowed to make a profit as an intermediary. The key question is: Who will get to be that middleman?"7 — Brad Stone

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In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine. In the long run, it's a weighing machine" that measures a company's true value. — Brad Stone

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While other dot-coms merged or perished, Amazon survived through a combination of conviction, improvisation, and luck. — Brad Stone

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He turned them into real-life versions of an M. C. Escher drawing, automating them to the rafters, with blinking lights on aisles and shelves to guide human workers to the right products, and conveyor belts that ran into and out of massive machines, called Crisplants, that took products from the conveyors and scanned and sorted them into customer orders to be packaged and shipped. These facilities, Wright decreed, would be called not warehouses but distribution centers, as they were in Walmart's internal lexicon. — Brad Stone

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I really can't say," the teacher replied. "Except that there is probably no limit to what he can do, given a little guidance. — Brad Stone

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Dearest Amabot,
If you only had a heart to absorb our hatred...
Thanks for nothing, you jury-rigged rust bucket.
The gorgeous messiness of flesh and blood with prevail! — Brad Stone

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Amazon isn't happening to the book business," he likes to say to authors and journalists. "The future is happening to the book business.") — Brad Stone

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Most companies are not those things. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer. — Brad Stone

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But don't be worried about our competitors because they're never going to send us any money anyway. Let's be worried about our customers and stay heads-down focused."15 — Brad Stone

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Nevertheless, Blecharczyk came through with a new version of a site on March 3, a week before the annual conference in Austin, Texas. The new slogan was "A friend, not a front desk. — Brad Stone

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Bill Miller, the chief investment officer at Legg Mason Capital Management and a major Amazon shareholder, asked Bezos at the time about the profitability prospects for AWS. Bezos predicted they would be good over the long term but said that he didn't want to repeat "Steve Jobs's mistake" of pricing the iPhone in a way that was so fantastically profitable that the smartphone market became a magnet for competition. — Brad Stone

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Bezos said. "When I read that letter, I thought, we don't make money when we sell things. We make money when we help customers make — Brad Stone

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These are not fever dreams. They are near inevitabilities. It's an easy prediction to make - that Jeff Bezos will do what he has always done. He will attempt to move faster, work his employees harder, make bolder bets, and pursue both big inventions and small ones, all to achieve his grand vision for Amazon - that it be not just an everything store, but ultimately an everything company. — Brad Stone

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There are lots of lessons to learn from Amazon. Never stop innovating or questioning the fundamentals of your business. Disrupt yourself before others do. Continually motivate employees so that they never get too complacent - see Yahoo, AOL and many other Internet companies for evidence of what happens when they do. — Brad Stone

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a small bike shop north of Phoenix, in Glendale, Arizona. It's called the Roadrunner Bike Center. — Brad Stone

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have realized about myself that I'm very motivated by people counting on me," he answered. "I like to be counted on."14 — Brad Stone

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For the first time, Amazon was spoken in the same breath as Google and Apple - not as an afterthought, but as an equal. It had blasted off into high orbit. — Brad Stone

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One early challenge was that the book distributors required retailers to order ten books at a time. Amazon didn't yet have that kind of sales volume, and Bezos later enjoyed telling the story of how he got around it. "We found a loophole," he said. "Their systems were programmed in such a way that you didn't have to receive ten books, you only had to order ten books. So we found an obscure book about lichens that they had in their system but was out of stock. We began ordering the one book we wanted and nine copies of the lichen book. They would ship out the book we needed and a note that said, 'Sorry, but we're out of the lichen book.' "4 — Brad Stone

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Naturally, some of the reviews were negative. In speeches, Bezos later recalled getting an angry letter from an executive at a book publisher implying that Bezos didn't understand that his business was to sell books, not trash them. "We saw it very differently," Bezos said. "When I read that letter, I thought, we don't make money when we sell things. We make money when we help customers make purchase decisions."5 — Brad Stone

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point of view is worth 80 IQ points" - a — Brad Stone

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great companies fail not because they want to avoid disruptive change but because they are reluctant to embrace promising new markets that might undermine their traditional businesses — Brad Stone

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We see Google experimenting in so many places outside of its core search and advertising business, whether that's bringing broadband Internet to the world or funding an entirely separate company to pursue solutions to disease and mortality. Amazon's one of the few other companies that thinks as big as Google does. — Brad Stone

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Bezos is like a chess master playing countless games simultaneously, with the boards organized in such a way that he can efficiently tend to each match. — Brad Stone

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Wilke subscribed to the principles laid out in a seminal book about constraints in manufacturing, Eliyahu M. Goldratt's The Goal, published in 1984. — Brad Stone

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Chris Brown, a software-development manager at the time. — Brad Stone

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Thus did Jeff Bezos become one of the original investors in Google, his company's future rival, — Brad Stone

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In a world where consumers had limited choice, you needed to compete for locations," says Ross, who went on to cofound eCommera, a British e-commerce advisory firm. "But in a world where consumers have unlimited choice, you need to compete for attention. And this requires something more than selling other people's products. — Brad Stone

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Unlike traditional retailers, Amazon boasted what was called a negative operating cycle. Customers paid with their credit cards when their books shipped but Amazon settled its accounts with the book distributors only every few months. With every sale, Amazon put more cash in the bank, giving it a steady stream of capital to fund its operations and expansion.14 The company could also lay claim to a uniquely high return on invested capital. Unlike brick-and-mortar retailers, whose inventories were spread out across hundreds or thousands of stores around the country, Amazon had one website and, at that time, a single warehouse and inventory. Amazon's ratio of fixed costs to revenue was considerably more favorable than that of its offline competitors. In other words, Bezos and Covey argued, a dollar that was plugged into Amazon's infrastructure could lead to exponentially greater returns than a dollar that went into the infrastructure of any other retailer in the world. — Brad Stone

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Life inside successful Web startups - especially the really successful ones - can be nasty, brutish, and short. As companies grow exponentially, egos clash, investors jockey for control, and business complexities rapidly exceed the managerial abilities of the founders. — Brad Stone

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Amazon was a family affair in another way. MacKenzie, an aspiring novelist, — Brad Stone

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I don't think value to the customer is achieved at the expense of employees' welfare. — Brad Stone

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When someone resigns, he is asked to hand in all that equipment - including the backpack. — Brad Stone

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Ultimately, Amazon is a weather pattern that disturbs everything around it. — Brad Stone

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Bezos proclaimed at the time, according to numerous employees: "Developers are alchemists and our job is to do everything we can to get them to do their alchemy. — Brad Stone

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I've always had the opinion that we have shamelessly stolen any good ideas, — Brad Stone

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I don't think we yet know - because it's probably not big enough - what exactly Amazon does to our cities, but whatever it is, I don't anticipate retail wastelands. If anything, it's maybe a wake-up call to retailers that they just have to offer something meaningful to customers. — Brad Stone

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Book publishers needed only to listen to Jeff Bezos himself to have their fears stoked. Amazon's founder repeatedly suggested he had little reverence for the old "gatekeepers" of the media, whose business models were forged during the analogue age and whose function it was to review content and then subjectively decide what the public got to consume. This was to be a new age of creative surplus, where it was easy for anyone to create something, find an audience, and allow the market to determine the proper economic reward. "Even well meaning gatekeepers slow innovation," Bezos wrote in his 2011 letter to shareholders. "When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there's no expert gatekeeper ready to say 'that will never work!' And guess what - many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity. — Brad Stone

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In early 2002, as part of a new personal ritual, he took time after the holidays to think and read. (In this respect, Microsoft's Bill Gates, who also took such annual think weeks, served as a positive example.) Returning to the company after a few weeks, Bezos presented his next big idea to the S Team in the basement of his Medina, Washington, home. The entire company, he said, would restructure itself around what he called "two-pizza teams." Employees would be organized into autonomous groups of fewer than ten people - small enough that, when working late, the team members could be fed with two pizza pies. These teams would be independently set loose on Amazon's biggest problems. — Brad Stone

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When New York passed its Internet sales-tax law, Amazon's sales in New York State dropped 10 percent over the next quarter, according to a person familiar with Amazon's finances at the time. — Brad Stone

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While he was charming and capable of great humor in public, in private, Bezos could bite an employee's head right off. — Brad Stone

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Amazon may be the most beguiling company that ever existed, and it is just getting started. It is both missionary and mercenary ... That has always been a potent combination. — Brad Stone

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Missionaries have righteous goals and are trying to make the world a better place. Mercenaries are out for money and power and will run over anyone who gets in the way. — Brad Stone

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Bezos dismissed those objections and insisted that to succeed in books as Apple had in music, Amazon needed to control the entire customer experience, — Brad Stone

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Great merchants have never had the opportunity to understand their customers in a truly individualized way," he said. "E-commerce is going to make that possible."13 — Brad Stone

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It is far better to cannibalize yourself than have someone else do it, — Brad Stone

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It was the combination of EC2 and S3 - storage and compute, two primitives linked together - that transformed both AWS and the technology world. Startups no longer needed to spend their venture capital on buying servers and hiring specialized engineers to run them. Infrastructure costs were variable instead of fixed, and they could grow in direct proportion to revenues. It freed companies to experiment, to change their business models with a minimum of pain, and to keep up with the rapidly growing audiences of erupting social networks like Facebook and Twitter. — Brad Stone

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I think for Amazon's customers, it offers a kind of addictive service - the ability to shop without leaving your house, the ability to read without going to a bookstore or a library. — Brad Stone

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Most execs, particularly first-time CEOs who get good at one thing, can only dance what they know how to dance. — Brad Stone

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There are lots of retailers that are now scrambling to emulate the Amazon model, so Amazon does not have a monopoly on same-day distribution or broad selection or low prices. All that said, there are advantages that accrue to the largest player, so I don't see much in the way of Amazon slowing down. — Brad Stone

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Eric and Susan Benson didn't come to Amazon alone every day - they brought their dog Rufus, a Welsh corgi. — Brad Stone

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In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs and their backers got drunk on the overflowing optimism and abundant venture capital and threw a two-year-long party. Capital was cheap, opportunities seemed limitless, and pineapple-infused-vodka martinis were everywhere. — Brad Stone

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Any process can be improved. Defects that are invisible to the knowledgeable may be obvious to newcomers. The simplest solutions are the best. Repeating all these anecdotes isn't rote monotony - it's calculated strategy. "The rest of us try to muddle around with complicated contradictory goals and it makes it harder for people to help us," says his friend Danny Hillis. "Jeff is very clear and simple about his goals, and the way he articulates them makes it easy for others, because it's consistent. — Brad Stone

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Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever. — Brad Stone

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Jeff didn't believe in work-life balance," says Kim Rachmeler. "He believed in work-life harmony. I guess the idea is you might be able to do everything all at once. — Brad Stone

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he particularly admired a man named Frank Meeks, — Brad Stone

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Steady progress toward seemingly impossible goals will win the day. Setbacks are temporary. Naysayers are best ignored. — Brad Stone

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He had seen firsthand how technology, patience, and long-term thinking could pay off. — Brad Stone

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No matter how hard we strive for objectivity, writers are biased toward tension - those moments in which character is forged and revealed. — Brad Stone

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He announced his intentions to build a spaceport by walking into the office of a local newspaper, the Van Horn Advocate, and giving an impromptu interview to its bewildered editor. — Brad Stone

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Amazon tried to combat employee delinquency by using a point system to track how workers performed their jobs. Arriving late cost an employee half a point; failing to show up altogether was three points. Even calling in sick cost a point. An employee who collected six such demerits was let go. — Brad Stone

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Prime would eventually justify its existence. The service turned customers into Amazon addicts who gorged on the almost instant gratification of having purchases reliably appear two days after they ordered them. Signing up for Amazon Prime, Jason Kilar said at the time, "was like going from a dial-up to a broadband Internet connection. — Brad Stone

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Friends suggested that it sounded a bit sinister. But something about it must have captivated Bezos: he registered the URL in September 1994, and he kept it. Type Relentless into the Web today and it takes you to Amazon. — Brad Stone

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We pay attention to what our competitors do but it's not where we put our energy. — Brad Stone

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You have to start somewhere,' he said. 'You climb the top of the first tiny hill and from there you see the next hill. — Brad Stone

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Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly. — Brad Stone

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Amazon is famously run by studying and responding to its own data; yet when it comes to promotions, decisions are often subjective and guided by human emotions and petty political dynamics. — Brad Stone

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willingness to try a lot of things and make many mistakes. — Brad Stone

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We don't have a single big advantage," he once told an old adversary, publisher Tim O'Reilly, back when they were arguing over Amazon protecting its patented 1-Click ordering method from rivals like Barnes & Noble. "So we have to weave a rope of many small advantages. — Brad Stone

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Bezos believed that high margins justified rivals' investments in research and development and attracted more competition, while low margins attracted customers and were more defensible. — Brad Stone

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But through it all, Bezos never showed anxiety or appeared to worry about the wild swings in public sentiment. "We were all running around the halls with our hair on fire thinking, What are we going to do?" says Mark Britto, a senior vice president. But not Jeff. "I have never seen anyone so calm in the eye of a storm. Ice water runs through his veins," Britto says. — Brad Stone

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As we have seen again and again, when Amazon doesn't get the economic conditions from suppliers that it seeks, it simply goes its own way. In the book business, that has meant publishing its own titles under the various Kindle imprints. Now it's making diapers. — Brad Stone