“对我们而言，Amazon Web Services（AWS）的价值不容忽视——在短短二十秒，我们就可以让服务器的能力翻倍。在我们这样快速增长的情况下，尤其是我们团队还这么小，能够拥有值得信赖的最好的技术支持，对我们在全世界的音乐社区至关重要。现在，因为有了亚马逊，我们可以提供最好的技术并且野蛮生长。”这是Christopher Tholen说的，他是BandPage公司的CTO。他对于AWS帮助他们提升了计算性能的速度和稳定性的评论可不是随口说说：BandPage现在将50万只乐队和他们数千万粉丝联系在了一起。（译者注：这家公司2016年被Google旗下的Youtube收购，现在是“Youtube for Artists”）
“我从2011年四月开始在Amazon卖货，大概到了6月我们就成为了Amazon平台上卖午餐盒最多的商家，平均一天我们有50到75件订单。当我们到了89月份开学季，这也是我们的销售旺季，我们每天常常有300乃至500件订单。这简直是现象级的……我使用Fulfillment By Amazon（FBA）的服务，方便极了。不但如此，当顾客发现只要订购Prime服务，他们可以享受免邮费，午餐盒的订单量简直起飞了！”Kelly Lester是一个“创业妈妈”，她在Amazon上销售自己设计制造既方便使用又环境友好的午餐盒EasyLunchBoxes。（译者注：这家公司已经做成十年老店，还在卖餐盒呢！）
“我是瞎撞上Amazon的，但是它简直给我打开了新世界的大门。鉴于我大概在家藏了上千本书，我想要不就试试吧！我最初卖了一些，让后生意就越做越大，最终乃至于我觉得我不用再找工作了，我就干这个了！除了我老婆，没人是我上司，有什么比这样更美妙呢？而且我俩一起工作，我们一起出去淘书，是一个无间的团队。我们一个月大概能卖700本书，我们每个月给Amazon送过去800-900本书，然后Amazon帮我们给这700个人把书寄过去。要是没有Amazon负责寄送和客服，我和我老婆就不得不一天到晚抱着十几本书跑邮局了。Amazon解决了这个问题，真是帮我们省了一个大麻烦……这项目真是牛逼坏了，我简直爱死了，我说要是亚马逊都帮你寄送和做客服了，夫复何求？夫复何求啊！”Bob Frank 在经历了金融危机之后重新事业腾飞，创建了RJF Books and More。他和他老婆天天在Phoenix和Minneapolis跑，他说淘书简直就跟每天都在寻宝一样。（译者注：这家店在Amazon上还存在，只不过看起来卖的东西少了些）
“由于有Kindle直接出版（Kindle Direct Publishing，KDP），我一个月赚的版税比我给任何一家出版社都高。我从每天为能不能付清信用卡而担心（我确实有一段时间拮据到付不上），到终于有了存款，甚至还在规划一次度假了，哎妈膨胀了膨胀了！这以前想都不敢想啊！Amazon让我张开了双臂。起初，我只是写一类书，如今我有好多东西都想写。现在我能做到了，自己管理自己的事业。我感觉就像在Amazon里找到了一个伙伴一样，他们熟稔这桩生意，并且把选择权交给了作者和读者，这简直颠覆了出版业。”这是A. K. Alexander, Daddy’s Home的作者，这本书是三月Kindle畅销书Top100之一。（译者注：她目前依然是一个畅销书作家，主要写连载长篇惊悚小说，最近一本书在2018年出版）
（译者注：此处省略接下来的三条小广告，大意同上一节类似，都是吹爆KDP服务，他们分别是：出版了畅销书Run的Blake Crouch，亚马逊圆了他的全职作者梦，主攻科幻；出版了Abducted的畅销书作家Theresa Ragan，Amazon让她一炮走红，主攻惊悚穿越和言情；出版了畅销书Hunter: A Thriller的Robert Bidinotto，帮他度过经济危机加60岁老年危机，主攻惊悚；出版了畅销书Nobody的Creston Mepes，Amazon让他更好触及自己的读者群）
AWS现在已经大到支持30种不同服务，已经服务了几千小企业和独立开发者。AWS最初提供的服务之一就是Simple Storage Service（S3），在这个服务上现在存储着超过9000亿个数据对象，并且每天都有几十亿个新增的对象。S3日常处理每秒大概50万的交互（transactions），峰值能达到100万每秒。所有AWS的服务都是按使用收费，这使得成本变的非常灵活。AWS还是一个自助的服务，你不需要谈一份合同或者和一个销售接洽，只需要在网上自己读读文档就可以上手。AWS的服务非常灵活，可大可小。
仅在2011年的四季度，FBA替第三方商家运送了数千万件商品。当卖家使用FBA时，他们的商品可以参与Amazon Prime、Super Saver Shipping以及退货和客服等服务项目。FBA也是一个自助服务，你可以轻松使用我们的后台网站管理你的库存。如果你有更多的技术倾向，我们也提供了API，你可以把FBA的平台当作一个组件嵌入到你自己的系统里，更加方便你的使用。
Jeffrey P. Bezos
To our shareowners:
The Power of Invention
“To us, the value of Amazon Web Services is undeniable – in twenty seconds, we can double our server capacity. In a high-growth environment like ours and with a small team of developers, it’s very important for us to trust that we have the best support to give to the music community around the world. Five years ago, we would have crashed and been down without knowing when we would be back. Now, because of Amazon’s continued innovation, we can provide the best technology and continue to grow.” That’s Christopher Tholen, the Chief Technology Officer of BandPage. His comments about how AWS helps with the critical need to scale compute capacity quickly and reliably are not hypothetical: BandPage now helps 500,000 bands and artists connect with tens of millions of fans.
“So, I started selling on Amazon in April of 2011, and by the time we became the top Amazon lunchbox seller in June, we had between 50 and 75 orders a day. When we hit August and September – our busiest time, with the start of the school year – we had 300, sometimes 500 orders a day. It was just phenomenal… I’m using Amazon to fulfill my orders, which makes my life easier. Plus, when my customers found out they could get free shipping with Prime subscriptions, the lunchboxes began selling like crazy.” Kelly Lester is the “mom entrepreneur” of EasyLunchboxes, her own innovative line of easy-to-pack, environmentally friendly lunchbox containers.
“I sort of stumbled onto it, and it opened a whole new world for me. Since I had over a thousand [book] titles at my house, I thought, ‘I’ll give this a try.’ I sold some and I kept expanding it and expanding it, and come to find out this was so much fun I decided I don’t ever want to get another job again. And I’ve got no boss – other than my wife, that is. What could be better than that? We actually work together on this. We both go out hunting, so it’s a team effort that’s worked out very well. We sell about 700 books a month. We ship between 800 and 900 to Amazon each month and Amazon ships out the 700 that people buy. Without Amazon handling shipping and customer service, my wife and I would have to be running to the post office or someplace every day with dozens of packages. With that part taken care of for us, life is much simpler… This is a terrific program and I love it. After all, Amazon supplies the customers and even ships the books. I mean, how can it get better than that?” Bob Frank founded RJF Books and More after getting laid off in the midst of the economic downturn. He and his wife split their time between Phoenix and Minneapolis, and he describes finding the books he sells like “a treasure hunt every day.”
“Because of Kindle Direct Publishing, I earn more royalties in one month than I ever did in a year of writing for a traditional house. I have gone from worrying about if I will be able to pay the bills – and there were many months when I couldn’t – to finally having real savings, even thinking about a vacation; something I haven’t done in years… Amazon has allowed me to really spread my wings. Prior, I was boxed into a genre, yet I had all of these other books I wanted to write. Now I can do just that. I manage my career. I feel as if I finally have a partner in Amazon. They understand this business and have changed the face of publishing for the good of the writer and the reader, putting choices back into our hands.” That’s A. K. Alexander, author of Daddy’s Home, one of the top 100 best-selling Kindle books in March.
“I had no idea that March of 2010, the first month I decided to publish on KDP, would be a defining moment in my life. Within a year of doing so, I was making enough on a monthly basis to quit my day job and focus on writing full time! The rewards that have sprung out of deciding to publish through KDP have been nothing short of life changing. Financially. Personally. Emotionally. Creatively. The ability to write full time, to be home with my family, and to write exactly what I want without the input of a legacy publisher marketing committee wanting to have a say in every detail of my writing, has made me a stronger writer, a more prolific writer, and most importantly a far happier one…. Amazon and KDP are literally enabling creativity in the
publishing world and giving writers like me a shot at their dream, and for that I am forever grateful.” That’s Blake Crouch, author of several thrillers, including the Kindle best seller Run.
“Amazon has made it possible for authors like me to get their work in front of readers and has changed my life. In a little over a year, I have sold nearly 250,000 books through the Kindle and have traded in old dreams for bigger and better ones. Four of my books have hit the Top 100 Kindle Best Sellers List. Also, I have been approached by agents, foreign sales people, and two movie producers, and have received mentions in the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and PC Magazine, and was recently interviewed by USA Today. Mostly, I am excited that all writers now have the opportunity to get their work in front of readers without jumping through insurmountable hoops. Writers have more options and readers have more choices. The publishing world is changing fast, and I plan to enjoy every minute of the ride.” Theresa Ragan is the KDP author of multiple Kindle best sellers including Abducted.
“Past age 60 and in the midst of the recession, my wife and I found our income options severely limited. KDP was my one shot at a lifelong dream – our only chance at financial salvation. Within months of publishing, KDP has completely changed our lives, enabling this aging nonfiction writer to launch a brand-new career as a best-selling novelist. I can’t say enough on behalf of Amazon and the many tools that they make available to independent authors. Without reservation, I urge fellow writers to investigate and seize the opportunities that KDP offers. As I’ve happily discovered, there is zero downside risk – and the potential is virtually unlimited.” Robert Bidinotto is the author of the Kindle best seller Hunter: A Thriller.
“I leveraged KDP’s technology to blow through all the traditional gatekeepers. Can you imagine how that feels, after struggling so hard, for so long, for every … single … reader? Now, inspirational fiction lovers I never would have reached are enjoying Nobody and my other two novels from the Kindle Store at $2.99. I’ve always wanted to write a Cinderella story. Now I have. And, thanks to Prince Charming (KDP), there will be more to come…” Creston Mapes is the author of the Kindle best seller Nobody.
Invention comes in many forms and at many scales. The most radical and transformative of inventions are often those that empower others to unleash their creativity – to pursue their dreams. That’s a big part of what’s going on with Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Kindle Direct Publishing. With AWS, FBA, and KDP, we are creating powerful self-service platforms that allow thousands of people to boldly experiment and accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible or impractical. These innovative, large-scale platforms are not zero-sum – they create win-win situations and create significant value for developers, entrepreneurs, customers, authors, and readers.
Amazon Web Services has grown to have thirty different services and thousands of large and small businesses and individual developers as customers. One of the first AWS offerings, the Simple Storage Service, or S3, now holds over 900 billion data objects, with more than a billion new objects being added every day. S3 routinely handles more than 500,000 transactions per second and has peaked at close to a million transactions per second. All AWS services are pay-as-you-go and radically transform capital expense into a variable cost. AWS is self-service: you don’t need to negotiate a contract or engage with a salesperson – you can just read the online documentation and get started. AWS services are elastic – they easily scale up and easily scale down.
In just the last quarter of 2011, Fulfillment by Amazon shipped tens of millions of items on behalf of sellers. When sellers use FBA, their items become eligible for Amazon Prime, for Super Saver Shipping, and for Amazon returns processing and customer service. FBA is self-service and comes with an easy-to-use inventory management console as part of Amazon Seller Central. For the more technically inclined, it also comes with a set of APIs so that you can use our global fulfillment center network like a giant computer peripheral.
I am emphasizing the self-service nature of these platforms because it’s important for a reason I think is somewhat non-obvious: even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. 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.
Kindle Direct Publishing has quickly taken on astonishing scale – more than a thousand KDP authors now each sell more than a thousand copies a month, some have already reached hundreds of thousands of sales, and two have already joined the Kindle Million Club. KDP is a big win for authors. Authors who use KDP get to keep their copyrights, keep their derivative rights, get to publish on their schedule – a typical delay in traditional publishing can be a year or more from the time the book is finished – and … saving the best for last … KDP authors can get paid royalties of 70%. The largest traditional publishers pay royalties of only 17.5% on ebooks (they pay 25% of 70% of the selling price which works out to be 17.5% of the selling price). The KDP royalty structure is completely transformative for authors. A typical selling price for a KDP book is a reader-friendly $2.99 – authors get approximately $2 of that! With the legacy royalty of 17.5%, the selling price would have to be $11.43 to yield the same $2 per unit royalty. I assure you that authors sell many, many more copies at $2.99 than they would at $11.43.
Kindle Direct Publishing is good for readers because they get lower prices, but perhaps just as important, readers also get access to more diversity since authors that might have been rejected by establishment publishing channels now get their chance in the marketplace. You can get a pretty good window into this. Take a look at the Kindle best-seller list, and compare it to the New York Times best-seller list – which is more diverse? The Kindle list is chock-full of books from small presses and self-published authors, while the New York Times list is dominated by successful and established authors.
Amazonians are leaning into the future, with radical and transformational innovations that create value for thousands of authors, entrepreneurs, and developers. Invention has become second nature at Amazon, and in my view the team’s pace of innovation is even accelerating – I can assure you it’s very energizing. I’m extremely proud of the whole team, and feel lucky to have a front row seat.
As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1!
Jeffrey P. Bezos
Founder and Chief Executive Officer