Amazon's scale and growth in the last 25 years remain unparalleled. In his 2021 Letter to Shareholders Andy Jassy, President and CEO of Amazon.com, describes Amazon's iterative innovation process to experiment, learn, and continue to try to make the customer experience better every day.
You can download the 7-step innovation framework in PowerPoint, PDF, and Google Slides at the end of the post.
The 7 guiding principles of the Amazon innovation framework
Amazon follows 7 principles in its iterative innovation approach:
- Hire builders
- Use separate and autonomous teams
- Give teams the right tools and permission to move fast
- Have blind faith, but no false hope
- Define a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP), iterate fast from there
- Have a long-term view
- Brace yourself for failure
Amazon seeks employees that are curious and eager to create new things. People that challenge the status quo and strive for new methods to tackle problems.
Look out for people who keep asking why can’t it be done?
Organize Builders into Teams That Are as Separable and Autonomous as Possible
Amazon makes sure to concentrate a team of builders on a particular problem or customer. It is challenging for teams to have a thorough understanding of the many consumer concerns.
Single-purpose teams make better progress than shared resource teams.
Give Teams the Right Tools and Permission to Move Fast
Amazon allows teams to make two-way door (reversible) decisions themselves, thereby setting an expectation that speed matters.
Pre-condition for executing quickly are the right tools and leadership principles.
You Need Blind Faith, But No False Hope
Amazon knows that new ideas and innovations are often rejected because they haven’t been done before. Still, Amazon makes sure and validates ideas with feedback from customer loops and teams that challenge each other.
They improve the odds of success with a product development process working backward from the customer's view. Teams always write a launch Press Release before building.
Define a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP), and Be Willing to Iterate Fast
Amazon launches products that are good enough that they believe they’ll be loved from the get-go (why Amazon calls it a "Minimum Loveable Product" vs. a "Minimum Viable Product"). It is better to get off with a MLP to customers and iterate quickly thereafter.
Adopt a Long-term Orientation
Amazon knows that transformational invention take multiple years, especially if you are making big bets that you believe could substantially change customer experience (and your company)
Thus you have to be in it for the long haul and don't give up too quickly.
Brace Yourself for Failure
Amazon knows if you invent a lot, you will fail more often than you wish. If you are building new products and solutions, not all will work out. They make sure to secure great landing places for team members who delivered well.
Ensure you learn from your mistakes.
Amazon's 7-step innovation framework
free template in PowerPoint, PDF, and Google Slides format
Please subscribe and sign in to see the download link to the free and fully editable template in Google Slides or PowerPoint below.