Amazon is an action company. That is my perspective as an Amazon customer. When Jeff Bezos phrases the company’s core philosophy as ‘customer first’, it clearly is not lip service. I am amazed by the amount of customer-centric innovation that this company has fructified into groundbreaking realities of today.
Being in a field customer facing role, I have to be away from my office a lot, traveling within and outside Seattle for customer and prospect meetings. In the process, my single person office remains locked, and the UPS / FedEx courier guys must be mentally cursing me every time they place a delivery exception notice on my front door. I am not sure if Amazon considered this as a use case, but their Amazon Locker system works seamlessly to avoid heartaches to people like me and the couriers for missing to receive and deliver packages respectively.
Last week I ordered a couple of business card holders to arrange and store business cards of people I meet at various conferences. I very well knew that I will likely not be in office when the package arrives, which will result in another delivery exception. I decided to try the Amazon Locker option for the first time. There was one right outside of a 7-11 near my office, and I selected it as the delivery location while placing my online order. The locker even had a name – Jane. After I received the delivery notification, I simply went to the locker and scanned the barcode from my email. The locker opened up with my package inside and the whole process seemed as simple as an ‘open sesame’ story.
This is just a very small example of the customer-centric innovation that Amazon seems to be hell-bent on continuing to work towards. From the mobile app that works flawlessly, from Prime, Prime Now, Amazon Fresh programs, Amazon Smile that donates 0.5% of the purchase price to your favorite charity (for applicable items), products like Kindle, Fire TV and much more, to advanced warehouses and future drone delivery plans, I get a sense that an action packed culture must exist at all levels in the organization. Ideation is one thing and bringing it to seamless reality in a short period of time is quite another. The innovation is now shooting past the bounds of our earthly atmosphere, and Bezos is taking it to outer space with Blue Origin’s reusable rocket that will make space travel cheaper.
It is not surprising when I hear (sometimes overhear) about people being overworked at Amazon. Whatever sacrificing they are putting in, is a choice they have made for their tenure at Amazon. But in the process, they are also helping the rest of humanity. A pure spiritualist’s arguments notwithstanding, Amazon deserves all the credit for what it is out to do.