Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader

Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader

by John Rossman


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


“Reading this book is like having Jeff Bezos advise me.” —Eric Martinez, Founder and CEO of Modjoul

The former Amazon executive who launched and scaled Amazon Marketplace delivers the ultimate playbook on how to “think like Amazon” and succeed in the digital age.

“What would Jeff do?” Since leaving Amazon to advise start-ups and corporations, John Rossman has been asked this question countless times by executives who want to know “the secret” behind Amazon’s historic success. In this step-by-step guide, he provides 50 ½ answers drawn from his experience as an Amazon executive—and shows today’s business leaders how to think like Amazon, strategize like Bezos, and beat the competition like nobody’s business. Learn how to:

  • Move forward to get back to Day 1—and change the status quo.
  • Use the “working backwards” innovation and problem-solving approach to lead the way.
  • Become a platform company—with the right platform strategy.
  • Create customer obsession—and grant your customers superpowers.
  • Experiment, fail, rinse, and repeat.
  • Decentralize your way to digital greatness.
  • Master the magic of small autonomous teams.
  • Avoid the trap of past positions.
  • Make better and faster decisions.
  • Use metrics to create a culture of accountability and innovation
  • Use AI and the Internet of Things to reinvent customer experiences.

In addition to these targeted strategies, you’ll receive a rare inside glimpse into how Jeff Bezos and Amazon take a remarkably consistent approach to innovate, explore new markets, and spark new growth. You’ll understand the unique mindset and inner workings that drive Amazon’s operational excellence, from its ground-up approach to new digital markets to its out-of-the-box attitudes on innovation. Along the way, you’ll learn specific game-changing strategies that made Amazon stand out in a crowded digital world. These include actionable ideas that you can use to transform your culture, expand your business into digital, and become the kind of platform company that customers obsess over. Rossman also offers invaluable insights into the latest technologies, e-commerce marketing, online culture, and IoT disruptions that only an Amazon insider would know.

If you want to compete and win in the digital era, you have to Think Like Amazon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781260455496
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 04/29/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 337,832
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Rossman was an executive at Amazon, where he launched and scaled the Marketplace business, which now accounts for more than 50 percent of all units sold at He also led the enterprise services business, with responsibilities for,, Toys R Us, and other top brands. He now heads Rossman Partners, a niche business advisory firm that helps clients succeed and thrive in the digital era. Rossman has worked with The Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Target, Walmart, and many others. He is highly sought after for expert commentary regarding Amazon by global news media, such as the New York Times, CNBC, and Bloomberg, among others.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Would Jeff Do? xi

Part I Culture

idea 1 Reset Your Clocks: Your Journey Will Mot Be Short or a Straight Line 3

idea 2 Mercenary Or Mission Driven? Be Strategic and Honest in Your Obsession, and Then Obsess to Win 9

idea 3 Move Forward To Get Back to Day 1: Change the Culture of the Status Quo 13

idea 4 Obsessed Is Different: Create Customer Obsession in Your Business 19

idea 5 Don't Go Along to Get Along: The Risk Social Cohesion Poses to Achieving Hard Results 23

idea 6 Deliver Results: Own Your Dependencies to Overcome and Succeed 27

idea 7 Ownership for Everyone: Compensation Strategy to Drive Enterprise Optimization 31

idea 8 Avoid Country Clubs: Stay Hungry Even When You're Successful 35

idea 9 Make the Elephant Dance: Portfolio Strategy and Governance for Innovation 39

idea 10 You Are the Chief Product Officer: The New Management Science of Being a Builder 45

idea 11 Are You Willing to Be Misunderstood? Lessons from Amazon's Biggest Innovations 49

idea 12 Get to yes: Finance, Tax, Legal, and HR Teams That Matter 55

idea 13 Blow Up the Org Chart: Don't Let Your Organizational Structure and Titles Get in the Way 59

idea 14 Games For Innovation: Spur Invention in Fun Ways 63

idea 15 The Door Desk: Forcing Innovation Through Frugality 67

Part II Strategy

idea 16 Introduction To Mission Impossible: Being Digital 73

idea 17 Experiment, Fail, Rinse, Repeat: Plan and Operate Your Experiments for Digital Success 79

idea 18 So You Want to Be a Platform? Platform Strategy for the Rest of Us 87

idea 19 Yes, You are a Technology Company: Decentralize Your Way to Digital Greatness 91

idea 20 Pizza For All! The Magic of Small Autonomous Teams 95

idea 21 Never Say Never: Don't Let Past Positions Create a Trap 99

idea 22 Relentless.Com: Next-Generation Operational Excellence 103

idea 23 OPW: The Strategy of Other People's Work 109

idea 24 The Magic of Forcing Functions: Get These Right, and Your Teams Will Take Off 115

idea 25 What's Your Flywheel? Systems Thinking in Strategy Development 121

idea 26 Why Is This So Hard? Innovate by Reducing Friction 127

idea 27 Granting Customers Superpowers: Dreamy Businesses and Durable Needs 133

idea 28 Think differently: Improve Your Questions for Disruption 137

idea 29 Launch and Learn: Business Expansion the Amazon Way 141

idea 30 Don't Give Away the Operating System: Partners, Vendors, and Strategy 149

Part III Business and Technology

idea 31 Lies, Damn Lies, and Metrics: Use Metrics to Build a Culture of Accountability and Customer Obsession 157

idea 32 Process Versus Bureaucracy: Create Processes That Scale 165

idea 33 Do the Math: The Path to Automation and At Starts with Formulas 171

idea 34 Customer Experience Matters: Design and Measure the Customer Experience to Win 177

idea 35 What's Your Just Walk Out Technology? Use the Internet of Things to Reinvent Customer Experiences 183

idea 36 Information Security Must Die: Making Security Everyone's Job 189

idea 37 OP1: The Painstaking Process of Planning 195

idea 38 Strategic Headcount Planning: Scaling and Innovating Through People Allocation 201

idea 39 Architecture is the Business Strategy: Win Through Technology and Architecture 205

idea 40 The Questions You Ask: Ask Your CIO These Questions-for Everyone's Benefit 213

idea 41 The End Of Artificial Artificial Intelligence: Prepare for a Future of Machine Learning 217

Part IV Approach and Execution

idea 42 One-Way Or Two-Way Door? Make Better and Faster Decisions 223

idea 43 Raise The Bar: Avoid the Biggest Hiring Mistakes 227

idea 44 A Narrative About Narratives: Ditch the PowerPoint and Gain Clarity 233

idea 45 The Future Press Release: Define the Future and Get Teams on Board 241

idea 46 FAQS: Answer Others' Questions for Your Benefit 247

idea 47 Write the User Manual: Start with the Customer and Work Backward 259

idea 48 You Are What You Eat: Create Change Via the Executive Team Reading List 263

idea 49 Finance For Fools: Free Cash Flow, Accounting, and Change 267

idea 50 The Last Word On Becoming Digital: Trust 273

idea 50½ Principles are Not a Poster: The Pursuit of Speed, Agility, and Digital Leadership 277

Notes 283

Index 293

Customer Reviews