After I joined Amazon in 2010 I was very fortunate to be part of Amazon's journey from being a retailer to building it's own transportation network to deliver packages to the customer. I am constantly amazed about all the market segments that Amazon has entered and became a leader. Thinking Big is at the core of Amazon's diversified businesses from Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Web Services to Devices like Kindle.
Questions like “Why can't I sell books online?” to “Why can't the large infrastructure that supports Amazon Retail business support others?” and “How can anyone who can write publish their book and sell on Amazon”? are those that have been the drivers of change. At Amazon, we are always encouraged to “Think Big”, not just focus on the problem at hand but also think about what other customer problems we can solve. Think Big is also my favorite leadership principle.
“ I am proud to be part of a company where leaders encourage everyone to “Think Big” and constantly raise the bar on what you can do for the customer.”
Throughout my journey at Amazon, I have found myself asking “What would my systems and services be able to solve for my customers? What function is my system actually providing?”. This leads us to design systems in a way that are scalable, maintainable and extendable to other problem areas. When we started building our own internal Sortation systems (sort, consolidate and de-consolidate packages like in an airport hub), which are the foundation for our Sort Center Network today, we have built it in a way where we are able to sort packages everywhere, inside and outside Amazon network. Now our Sortation product works in Amazon Warehouses, Sort Centers, Delivery Stations, Airports and outside in a yard etc. Similarly we have built our transportation network in a way that it can transport packages sold on Amazon and non-Amazon packages alike.
On the other hand, I have found when you focus only on the problem at hand, either due to timeline pressures or due to narrow focus, you will inevitably identify new use cases and end up re-architecting the systems which is costly post production. I am proud to be part of a company where leaders encourage everyone to “Think Big” and constantly raise the bar on what you can do for the customer.