贝索斯致股东信(2015)

qimoe 发布于 2 个月前

致我们的股东:

今年亚马逊成为了最快年销售破千亿的的公司。同样是今年,AWS的年销售也达到了100亿,这个速度比Amazon达到这个里程碑还要快。到底发生了什么?这两个我们种下的小种子,在没有什么大的并购发生的情况下快速发展成了很有意义的大业务。表面上看,这两者差不多,一个服务消费者,另一个服务公司;一个是以棕色盒子出名,另一个是以API出名。这两个完全不相似的业务在在同一个屋檐下快速发展难道只是一个巧合吗?确实有很多运气因素,但是除此之外,这两个业务之间是有联系的。表面之下,这两个业务并没有差。他们共享同样的企业文化——以用户为中心,勇于创新不畏失败,思考长期,以卓越运营为傲。从这个角度看,AWS和Amazon的零售业务确实非常相似。(译者注:可以着重看看这里️)

说一句企业文化,不管好坏,它一直在那里,很稳定,不容易改变。它可能是优势也可能是劣势。你可以写下来你的企业文化,但当你真正干活的时候,你会发现它而不是创造它。它是在潜移默化中被一个个人和一件件事创造出来的,被一次次的成功和失败塑造的。如果这是一个很突出的文化,那么它会符合特定的人群。公司文化稳定的原因在于人们会选择,如果文化和自己的特性契合就会喜欢,然后留下来,否则就会离开。好消息是,世界很大,具有各种显著文化的公司都存在,他们都可能做得很好。我们从来没觉得我们的方法就是正确的方法,那只是我们的方法。并且在过去的20年,我们身边聚集了一批具有共同想法的小伙伴,他们都觉得我们的文化很给力也很有意义。

一个我认为非常显著的特点就是我们对待失败的态度。我认为我们这是世界上最适合失败的地方(我们有无数例子!),可是失败和成功是永远离不开的双生子。想要创新你就得试验,如果你在实验之前就知道结果,那就不是“试验”了。很多大组织都想要创新,却不能容忍走到创新路途上要经历的一系列失败。超预期的回报往往来自于违背常识的智慧,而常识通常恰恰是对的。假设你有一个获得100倍收益的计划,概率是1/10,你肯定每次都会赌。可即便如此,你十次还是有九次会输。可是商业世界的神奇之处在于你可以反复尝试,真正的成功都经历了无数次尝试。(译者注:这一段后半部分以棒球作比,我不懂棒球,故而只翻译了大意。)

AWS、Marketplace和Prime都是Amazon成功的赌局,我们很幸运能有这三个支柱。他们帮助我们成长为大公司,而有些事情只有大公司才能办到。Cue一下我们在西雅图的邻居,无论你是个多好的企业家,你也不可能在你的车库里捣鼓出来一台787飞机,就算捣鼓出来你也不敢坐。好好利用我们的规模,我们就可以给用户提供我们以前想都不敢想的服务。但同样,如果我们不够谨慎,规模也会让我们放慢步伐、遏制我们的持续创新。

当我见到各个团队时,我总是被他们的热情、聪明才智和创造力所惊艳。我们的团队在过去的一年完成了很多事情,我想通过Prime,Marketplace和AWS来划划重点。当我在强调这三块的时候,要知道,我们在别的方面也没有放松。

Prime

我们希望Prime成为一个让你无法拒绝的好产品。

我们已经把Prime两天送达的商品数从100万增至3千万,还在全球35个城市推出了Free Same-Day Delivery(免费当日送达)服务,这项服务覆盖了数十万种商品。我们增加了音乐和图片的云存储,Kindle Owners’ Lending Library 和在线视频及TV。

Prime现在还提供针对很多商品的会员一小时送达服务,在我们构思好111天之后就上线了。在当时,我们有一个小组做了一个用户导向的app,选了一个城市里的地点作为仓库,确定了哪25000个商品参与服务,然后存储了这部分物品,招聘了新的员工,测试,反复改进,写了新的内部管理的软件(一个仓库管理系统和一个面向司机的app),然后就在假期之前准时推出了。今天,仅仅是15个月之后,Prime Now已经覆盖了全球超过30个城市。

Prime Video提供了世界上最热情的讲故事大师的独家内容。我们希望优秀的制作人来我们这冒险并推动这个行业的边界,比如Jill Soloway,Jason Schwartzman和Spike Lee等等。我们的原创剧集已经得了超过120个提名并且拿下了将近60个奖项,包括金球奖和艾美奖。很多故事在传统有线媒体上根本没有办法被播出。在我们将要推出的剧集和电影中有不少大咖作品,如Jeremy Clarkson,David E. Kelly,Woody Allen以及Kenneth Lonergan。

The Man in the High Castle,基于Philip K. Dick的小说改编的剧集讲述了一个美国输掉了二战的另类故事,它11月20号在Prime Video面世,仅4周就成为了观看最多的节目。还收到了如下的评论“……Amazon的The Man in the High Castle简直是这一季最好的剧”和“The Man in the High Castle做到了很多其他剧连试都不敢试的事情”

这些剧对用户很友好,而且它们喂养了Prime飞轮,那些看了Prime Video的会员会更多的从试用会员转向付费会员,也更倾向于续订。

最后,我们第一次举办的Prime Day超出了我们的预期——历史上从没有哪一天有那么多人试用了Prime会员服务。和去年同一天相比全球订单量增长了266%,加入FBA的商家都惊呆了,他们销量增长了近300%。

Prime成为了“你想要的我都有”、物理和数字产品混合的服务。会员数和去年相比增长了51%,包括47%的美国市场增长和更加惊人的全球市场增长,现在全球已经有几千万用户了。很大概率你也是其中一员,如果你还不是,请负责任的加入吧!

Marketplace

在我们15年前推出Marketplace之前我们尝试了两次,分别用Auctions和zShops都失败了。我们从失败中学习,并一直固执的尝试,直到今天50%的商品都是从第三方商家售出。Marketplace对用户很友好,因为它为用户增加了很多选择;它对商家也很友好,有超过70000商家一年销售超过10万美金,他们大概创造了60万个新就业岗位。有了FBA,飞轮运转的更快了,因为这些商品都成为了Prime会员商品——Prime对用户价值更大,卖家也能卖掉更多。

今年我们开发了一个新项目叫做Seller Fulfilled Prime。我们邀请那些能够大到运送速度和持续服务双高标准的卖家加入Prime项目并自行按照Prime的速度来运货。这些商家已经大幅提升了销量,并且使得Prime会员能够享受数十万商品两日快速送达,或者在英国和德国的隔日送达。

我们还推出了Amazon Lending项目来帮助商家发展。自从这个项目开始,我们已经为在美国英国和日本微型小型和中型企业提供超过15亿的短期贷款,我们的贷款额度是惊人的4亿美金。Stephen Aarstol就是受益者之一,他是Tower Paddle Boards的创始人。他的公司已经成为圣迭戈发展最快的公司之一,这对用户和Amazon都很好。我们希望能扩大Amazon Lending,现在我们也在和银行合作,希望能通过他们的专业知识帮助我们更好的防范金融风险。

在发展这些大项目的同时,我们也在全球化它们。我们的Marketplace为商家创造触达全球用户的机会。过去,很多商家由于种种不便只能在本土销售自己的商品,为了能够做到Marketplace的全球化,我们打造了一系列实用的工具,使得去年我们在172个国家的商家能够触达189个国家的用户。这些跨境的销售现在已经占到我们销售总额的25%。为了达到这个结果,我们翻译了几亿商品页面并提供共44种货币的转换。即便是很小的商家现在也能轻松触达全球的用户和供应链网络。最终的结果和商家自己来完成这些任务完全不同,Plugable Technologies的CEO Bernie Thompson说:“能在一天或两天就把我们的商品运到欧洲或者日本的仓库,这简直颠覆了范式!”

印度是我们全球化一个类似Marketplace这样的服务的另一个例子。去年我们退出了一个叫做Amazon Chai Cart的项目,我们骑着在三轮车在印度接头给那些小贩发茶水饮料并教他们如何在网上卖东西。在四个月里,我们的团队在31个城市穿行了15280km,送出了37200杯茶并和超过10000个卖家接触。通过这个项目以及其他和商家交流的活动我们发现,尽管在线上销售有非常多的好处,还是有很多人保有着在线卖东西很复杂费时的认识。所以我们开发了Amazon Tatkal,能让小卖家在一小时之内把他们的商品挂上网。这项服务是特地为了那些小摊贩设计的,给他们提供了一系列启动的必须步骤:注册,拍照,分类商品以及一些基本的销售技巧。在这项服务在2月17号推出之后,我们触达了25个城市的卖家。

我们也在全球化FBA,让这项服务更贴合卖家的需求。在印度,我们开启了一个叫做Seller Flex的服务,这项服务使得我们把商家的仓库也纳入了我们的网络。商家把自己的仓库腾出一部分空间来存放商品,而我们把这个地点也加入我们的网络,更加方便规划物流。我们的团队提供各种技术支持,包括如何布置仓库,和一些IT基础设施的搭建,并且教商家我们的流程。我们现在已经在超过10个城市开启了25个Seller Flex。

Amazon Web Services

仅仅在大约十年前,AWS在美国开启了它第一个主打服务——一个简单的存储服务。而现在,AWS提供了超过70种服务,针对计算、存储、数据库、分析、移动、物联网和企业应用等等。我们还在全球12个地区提供33个Availability Zones,还有在加拿大、中国、印度美国和中国五个区域11个AZ将在明年投入使用。AWS从初创公司和小企业发家,现在已经有了超过100万大大小小的用户在几乎各个行业,比如Pinterest,Airbnb,GE,Enel,Capital One,Intuit,Johnson&Johnson,Philips,Hess,Adobe,McDonalds以及Time Inc。

AWS比十年前达到了,成长的也更快,并且在我看来最值得一提的是我们的创新速度,我们在这一年发布了722项重要的新功能,比去年增加了40%.

很多人在我们刚开始搞AWS觉得这是一次豪赌。“这跟卖书有什么关系?”我们差点就因此陷入沉思,我很幸运我们没有这样。AWS是一个亿用户为核心的,创新又具有实验性质的,长期导向的并深入关注卓越运营的项目,完全符合我们的方法论。

在十年很多轮的迭代之后,这个方法论让AWS能够快速扩张至一个全球最容易理解、最广泛使用的云服务设施。如同我们的零售业务,AWS是由很多小组并发完成的,这大大提升了我们的创新速度。我们的团队在70项服务中几乎每天都在循环上线新的功能,而用户并不需要有更新的行为,这些新功能会直接出现在他们的系统里。

很多公司都说他们是以用户为核心,但是很少真的是这样。绝大多数技术公司都专注于竞争对手。他们看到别的公司在做什么,然后自己也赶忙做这个。与他们相反,AWS里90%-95%的功能都是用户告诉我们他们的需求而开发的。我们最新的数据库引擎就是一个很好的例子,Amazon Aurora。用户已经受够了那些又贵又难用的商业数据库软件了。而当他们逐渐转向更加开源、轻量级的数据库引擎时(如MySQL和Postgres),又很难达到想要的性能。用户问我们能不能解决这个问题,于是我们做了Aurora。它有商业软件级别的稳定性,又和MySQL完全兼容,有相较于MySQL五倍的性能,而只有普通商业数据库1/10的价格。这在用户中间得到了一致好评,也成为了AWS中最快发展的服务。类似的故事也发生在我们数据仓库服务Redshift上,这是我们发展第二快的服务,大大小小的公司都在把他们的数据仓库转移到Redshift上。

我们的定价策略也是由用户为中心的文化所驱动的,我们一共降价了51次,而且很多是在并没有竞争压力的情况下完成的。与此同时我们还在推出便宜的新功能,比如Aurora,Redshift,QuickSight(我们的Business Intelligence服务),EC2 Containter服务,以及Lambda(我们超前的无服务器计算能力)。并且我们使得我们的服务能在各种应用和IT场景下使用。我们甚至持续在改进Trusted Advisor功能,它能够帮助我们的用户省钱,告诉他们如何使用才最节约成本。我很肯定我们是唯一一家告诉用户怎么薅我们羊毛的公司。

不管你是一家昨天才成立的创业公司,还是一家百年老店,云服务都能为我们提供不可想象的机遇来重新定义我们做的事情,增加新的用户体验,重新利用资本来助力增长,提升安全性能,并且更快速地完成这些事情。MLB Advanced Media就是一个AWS用户案例,这家公司持续的在用户体验上进行创新。MLB的Statcast追踪技术是一个针对棒球迷的新功能,它能测量每个球员和球的位置,能尽可能的通过数据来回答大家总是想问的那个问题“要是他能……就好了!”。这是一个把棒球变成火箭发射一样的工程,Statcast使用一个火箭的雷达系统来检测每个球的运动,每秒采样2000次,通过Amazon Kinesis实时播放和收集数据,在Amazon S3上存储数据,然后在Amazon EC2上对数据作出分析。这一系列的服务需要每场比赛7TB的原始数据存储,一个赛季意味着17PB的数据,为古老的棒球运动投上了量子之光。

大约在七年前,Netflix宣布他们将把他们的所有应用都移动到云端,他们选择了亚马逊因为这给他们提供了最好的延展性和最广的服务。Netflix最近宣布他们完成了转移,同样的故事也发生在其他的公司,包括Infor,Intuit以及Time Inc,他们都决定要把数据全部转移到AWS上。

AWS已经足够好到可以吸引超过100万用户,这项服务还在不断发展。在我们的团队加快创新的步伐同时,我们将提供更多的功能,从各个方向扩展我们的业务让用户不受约束的使用,我们会不断简化收集存储和分析数据的功能,增加更多的区域覆盖,也更多的适配移动端和物联网设备。随着时间的推移,越来越多的公司会选择放弃自己的数据中心而把数据转移到云端。

创新机器

我们想做一家大型公司,但同时也想做一个创新机器。我们希望把由体量而带来的用户服务能力和那些在初创公司上体现比较多的灵活性、接受风险的精神相结合。

我们能做到吗?我很乐观。我们有一个好的开始,我认为我们的文化把我们放在了一个很好的位置。但我并不觉得这会很简单。在这条路上有很多大公司容易掉进去的坑,我们需要不断学习并保持警惕别让自己掉入这些坑。一个非常普遍的陷阱就是“一刀切”的政策。

很多决定是一经做出就无法挽回的,而这些决定只需要通过有方法的仔细的细致的思考,并且要咨询很多外部意见。如果你选择走过去回头又觉得后悔了,你也不可能再回来,我们称这种为第一类决定。但是大多数决定不是这样的,你不用承担特别大的后果,你可以重新反复尝试,这就是第二类决定。对于“第二类决定”,我们需要让听得见炮声的个人和团队自行快速决定。

在组织变得更大的时候,我们倾向于常常做那种很重大的“第一类决定”,即便是“第二类决定”也用第一类的方法来做出。最终的结果就是缓慢、不深思熟虑的风险厌恶,不能足够的实验,继而危害创新。我们必须努力避免这个趋势。

并且“一刀切”的思考模式只是许多陷阱中的一个。我们会努力寻找并避免其他可能出现的大企业病。

可持续发展和社会创新

我们的发展非常迅速。二十年前,我还每天开着Chery Blazer到邮局寄包裹,并且想着要是有一辆叉车就好了。而过去几年增长的绝对值是惊人的。我们从2010年3万员工增长到现在超过23万。我们有点像突然就发现自己孩子长大的家长,仿佛一切都在一瞬间发生。

有一个规模赋予我们的能力,那就是能使我们不断在可持续发展和其他社会问题上不断创新。

两年前我们制定了一个长期目标:在AWS基础设施100%使用清洁能源。现在除了电网之外,我们有四个风电和太阳能中心能工为我们AWS的数据中心每小时提供160万兆瓦的清洁能源。Amazon Wind Farm Flowler Ridge已经上线,我们达到了AWS基础设施25%的清洁能源使用率,今年的目标是40%。我们在努力让清洁能源覆盖所有亚马逊的设施,包括各个物流中心。

我们会继续在包装上下功夫,我们的创新传统为我们带来了“轻松拆快递”项目。七年前我们在19件商品的包装上使用它,现在已经有超过40万件商品。在2015年这个项目减少了数千万磅的额外包装材料浪费。“轻松拆快递”让用户高兴因为这能让他们轻松,这让地球妈妈也很高兴,因为我们的浪费更少。这对股东也是好消息,因为更紧致的包装意味着我们更少运送“空气”——提高了运输效率,从而降低了成本。

我们还在继续创新针对员工的项目,比如Career Choice,Leave Share和Ramp Back。Career Choice为任何员工想学的技能报销95%的学费。我们为护理证、飞机制造证付钱,也包括其他的项目。我们开设了透明玻璃的教室来激励员工和吸引更多人。我们看到了很多成功故事,包括Sharie Warkmack,她是一个8个孩子的单亲妈妈,曾在我们Phoenix的物流中心上班。Career Choice帮她支付了学习开18轮大卡车的钱,她非常努力并且考到了驾照。她现在成为了为Schneider Trucking开18轮大卡车的长途司机。今年我们还会开设一个项目把我们运营Career Choice的经验交付给其他感兴趣的公司。

Leave Share和Ramp Back是那些给新父母以自由的项目。Leave Share让员工伴侣在没有产假的情况下能够共享产假。Ramp Back让新妈妈能够更好的把握自己的工作节奏。就如同医保,我们的这些服务都是全员工享受的,无论是客服、物流工人还是公司经理。

以上都是我们拥抱创新和长线思考的公司文化带来的案例。我们非常兴奋自己的规模大到能让我们在这些方面做出贡献。

我可以告诉你,和这么一群聪明具有想象力又热情的同事一起工作有多棒。我代表Amazon,谢谢你们的支持。一如既往,我附了信,不忘初心,依旧Day1.

Jeffrey P. Bezos

(Vinchent翻译)


英文原文

To our shareowners:

This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales. Also this year, Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales … doing so at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone.

What’s going on here? Both were planted as tiny seeds and both have grown organically without significant acquisitions into meaningful and large businesses, quickly. Superficially, the two could hardly be more different. One serves consumers and the other serves enterprises. One is famous for brown boxes and the other for APIs. Is it only a coincidence that two such dissimilar offerings grew so quickly under one roof? Luck plays an outsized

role in every endeavor, and I can assure you we’ve had a bountiful supply. But beyond that, there is a connection between these two businesses. Under the surface, the two are not so different after all. They share a distinctive organizational culture that cares deeply about and acts with conviction on a small number of principles. I’m talking about customer obsession rather than competitor obsession, eagerness to invent and pioneer, willingness to fail, the patience to think long-term, and the taking of professional pride in operational excellence. Through that lens, AWS and Amazon retail are very similar indeed.

A word about corporate cultures: for better or for worse, they are enduring, stable, hard to change. They can be a source of advantage or disadvantage. You can write down your corporate culture, but when you do so, you’re discovering it, uncovering it – not creating it. It is created slowly over time by the people and by events – by the stories of past success and failure that become a deep part of the company lore. If it’s a distinctive culture, it will fit certain people like a custom-made glove. The reason cultures are so stable in time is because people self-select. Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another. The world, thankfully, is full of many high-performing, highly distinctive corporate cultures. We never claim that our approach is the right one – just that it’s ours – and over the last two decades, we’ve collected a large group of like-minded people. Folks who find our approach energizing and meaningful.

One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten. We all know that if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it’s important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments.

AWS, Marketplace and Prime are all examples of bold bets at Amazon that worked, and we’re fortunate to have those three big pillars. They have helped us grow into a large company, and there are certain things that only large companies can do. With a tip of the hat to our Seattle neighbors, no matter how good an entrepreneur you are, you’re not going to build an all-composite 787 in your garage startup – not one you’d want to fly in anyway. Used well, our scale enables us to build services for customers that we could otherwise never even contemplate. But also, if we’re not vigilant and thoughtful, size could slow us down and diminish our inventiveness.

As I meet with teams across Amazon, I am continually amazed at the passion, intelligence and creativity on display. Our teams accomplished a lot in the last year, and I’d like to share a few of the highlights of our efforts to nourish and globalize our three big offerings – Prime, Marketplace and AWS. And while I’ll focus on those three, I assure you that we also remain hard at work on finding a fourth.

Prime

We want Prime to be such a good value, you’d be irresponsible not to be a member.

We’ve grown Prime two-day delivery selection from 1 million items to over 30 million, added Sunday Delivery, and introduced Free Same-Day Delivery on hundreds of thousands of products for customers in more than 35 cities around the world. We’ve added music, photo storage, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and streaming films and TV.

Prime Now offers members one-hour delivery on an important subset of selection, and was launched only 111 days after it was dreamed up. In that time, a small team built a customer-facing app, secured a location for an urban warehouse, determined which 25,000 items to sell, got those items stocked, recruited and on-boarded new staff, tested, iterated, designed new software for internal use – both a warehouse management system and a driver-facing app – and launched in time for the holidays. Today, just 15 months after that first city launch, Prime Now is serving members in more than 30 cities around the world.

Prime Video offers exclusives from some of the world’s most passionate storytellers. We want brilliant creators like Jill Soloway, Jason Schwartzman and Spike Lee to take risks and push boundaries. Our original series have already earned more than 120 nominations and won nearly 60 awards, including Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Many of these are stories that might never have been told in the traditional linear programming model. In the pipeline and coming soon are new series and movies from creators like Jeremy Clarkson, David E. Kelley, Woody Allen and Kenneth Lonergan.

The Man in the High Castle, based on the Philip K. Dick novel, explores an alternate history where the U.S. lost World War II. It debuted on Prime Video on November 20th and in four weeks became our most-viewed show – receiving acclaim from critics like “...Amazon has the best new drama of the season in The Man in the High Castle” and “The Man in the High Castle accomplishes so much, where most new broadcast TV dramas these days don’t even try.”

These shows are great for customers, and they feed the Prime flywheel – Prime members who watch Prime Video are more likely to convert from a free trial to a paid membership, and more likely to renew their annual subscriptions.

Finally, our first ever Prime Day surpassed all our expectations – more new members tried Prime that day than any other day in our history. Worldwide order growth increased 266% over the same day the year before, and sellers whose products are Prime-eligible through FBA saw record-breaking sales – with growth nearing 300%.

Prime has become an all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid that members love. Membership grew 51% last year – including 47% growth in the U.S. and even faster internationally – and there are now tens of millions of members worldwide. There’s a good chance you’re already one of them, but if you’re not – please be responsible – join Prime.

Marketplace

We took two big swings and missed – with Auctions and zShops – before we launched Marketplace over 15 years ago. We learned from our failures and stayed stubborn on the vision, and today close to 50% of units sold on Amazon are sold by third-party sellers. Marketplace is great for customers because it adds unique selection, and it’s great for sellers – there are over 70,000 entrepreneurs with sales of more than $100,000 a year selling on

Amazon, and they’ve created over 600,000 new jobs. With FBA, that flywheel spins faster because sellers’ inventory becomes Prime-eligible – Prime becomes more valuable for members, and sellers sell more.

This year, we created a new program called Seller Fulfilled Prime. We invited sellers who are able to meet a high bar for shipping speed and consistency in service to be part of the Prime program and ship their own orders at Prime speed directly. Those sellers have already seen a significant bump in sales, and the program has led to hundreds of thousands of additional items that are available to Prime customers via free two-day or next-day shipping in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

We also created the Amazon Lending program to help sellers grow. Since the program launched, we’ve provided aggregate funding of over $1.5 billion to micro, small and medium businesses across the U.S., U.K. and Japan through short-term loans, with a total outstanding loan balance of about $400 million. Stephen Aarstol, surfer and owner of Tower Paddle Boards, is one beneficiary. His business has become one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego, in part with a little help from Amazon Lending. Click-to-cash access to capital helps these small enterprises grow, benefits customers with greater selection, and benefits Amazon since our marketplace revenue grows along with the sellers’ sales. We hope to expand Amazon Lending and are now working on ways to partner with banks so they can use their expertise to take and manage the bulk of the credit risk.

In addition to nourishing our big offerings, we work to globalize them. Our Marketplace creates opportunities for sellers anywhere to reach buyers around the world. In the past, many sellers would limit their customer base to their home country due to the practical challenges of selling internationally. To globalize Marketplace and expand the opportunities available to sellers, we built selling tools that empowered entrepreneurs in 172 countries to reach customers in 189 countries last year. These cross-border sales are now nearly a quarter of all third-party units sold on Amazon. To make this possible, we translated hundreds of millions of product listings and provided conversion services among 44 currencies. Even small and niche sellers can now tap into our global customer base and global logistics network. The end result is very different from sellers handling their own one-at-a-time, cross-border fulfillment. Plugable Technologies’ CEO, Bernie Thompson, put it this way: “It really changes the paradigm when you’re able to ship the goods in bulk to a warehouse in Europe or Japan and have those goods be fulfilled in one day or two days.”

India is another example of how we globalize an offering like Marketplace through customer obsession and a passion for invention. Last year we ran a program called Amazon Chai Cart where we deployed three-wheeled mobile carts to navigate in a city’s business districts, serve tea, water and lemon juice to small business owners and teach them about selling online. In a period of four months, the team traveled 15,280 km across 31 cities, served 37,200 cups of tea and engaged with over 10,000 sellers. Through this program and other conversations with sellers, we found out there was a lot of interest in selling online, but that sellers struggled with the belief that the process was time-consuming, tedious and complex. So, we invented Amazon Tatkal, which enables small businesses to get online in less than 60 minutes. Amazon Tatkal is a specially designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. Since its launch on February 17th, we have reached sellers in 25 cities.

We’re also globalizing Fulfillment by Amazon, adapting the service to local customer needs. In India, we launched a program called Seller Flex to combine Amazon’s logistics capabilities with sellers’ selection at the local neighborhood level. Sellers set aside a part of their warehouse for storing items to be sold on Amazon, and we configure it as a fulfillment center in our network that can receive and fulfill customer orders. Our team provides guidance on warehouse layout, IT and operational infrastructure, and trains the seller on standard operating procedures to be followed onsite. We’ve now launched 25 operational Seller Flex sites across ten cities.

Amazon Web Services

Just over 10 years ago, AWS started in the U.S. with its first major service, a simple storage service. Today, AWS offers more than 70 services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile, Internet of Things, and enterprise applications. We also offer 33 Availability Zones across 12 geographic regions worldwide, with

another five regions and 11 Availability Zones in Canada, China, India, the U.S., and the U.K. to be available in the coming year. AWS started with developers and startups, and now is used by more than a million customers from organizations of every size across nearly every industry – companies like Pinterest, Airbnb, GE, Enel, Capital One, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Philips, Hess, Adobe, McDonald’s, and Time Inc.

AWS is bigger than Amazon.com was at 10 years old, growing at a faster rate, and – most noteworthy in my view – the pace of innovation continues to accelerate – we announced 722 significant new features and services in 2015, a 40% increase over 2014.

Many characterized AWS as a bold – and unusual – bet when we started. “What does this have to do with selling books?” We could have stuck to the knitting. I’m glad we didn’t. Or did we? Maybe the knitting has as much to do with our approach as the arena. AWS is customer obsessed, inventive and experimental, long-term oriented, and cares deeply about operational excellence.

Given 10 years and many iterations, that approach has allowed AWS to rapidly expand into the world’s most comprehensive, widely adopted cloud service. As with our retail business, AWS is made up of many small teams with single-threaded owners, enabling rapid innovation. The team rolls out new functionality almost daily across 70 services, and that new functionality just “shows up” for customers – there’s no upgrading.

Many companies describe themselves as customer-focused, but few walk the walk. Most big technology companies are competitor focused. They see what others are doing, and then work to fast follow. In contrast, 90 to 95% of what we build in AWS is driven by what customers tell us they want. A good example is our new database engine, Amazon Aurora. Customers have been frustrated by the proprietary nature, high cost, and licensing terms of traditional, commercial-grade database providers. And while many companies have started moving toward more open engines like MySQL and Postgres, they often struggle to get the performance they need. Customers asked us if we could eliminate that inconvenient trade-off, and that’s why we built Aurora. It has commercial-grade durability and availability, is fully compatible with MySQL, has up to 5 times better performance than the typical MySQL implementation, but is 1/10th the price of the traditional, commercial-grade database engines. This has struck a resonant chord with customers, and Aurora is the fastest-growing service in the history of AWS. Nearly this same story could be told about Redshift, our managed data warehouse service, which is the second fastest growing service in AWS history – both small and large companies are moving their data warehouses to Redshift.

Our approach to pricing is also driven by our customer-centric culture – we’ve dropped prices 51 times, in many cases before there was any competitive pressure to do so. In addition to price reductions, we’ve also continued to launch new lower cost services like Aurora, Redshift, QuickSight (our new Business Intelligence service), EC2 Container Service (our new compute container service), and Lambda (our pioneering server-less computing capability), while extending our services to offer a range of highly cost-effective options for running just about every type of application or IT use case imaginable. We even roll out and continuously improve services like Trusted Advisor, which alerts customers when they can save money – resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for our customers. I’m pretty sure we’re the only IT vendor telling customers how to stop spending money with us.

Whether you are a startup founded yesterday or a business that has been around for 140 years, the cloud is providing all of us with unbelievable opportunities to reinvent our businesses, add new customer experiences, redeploy capital to fuel growth, increase security, and do all of this so much faster than before. MLB Advanced Media is an example of an AWS customer that is constantly reinventing the customer experience. MLB’s Statcast tracking technology is a new feature for baseball fans that measures the position of each player, the baserunners, and the ball as they move during every play on the field, giving viewers on any screen access to empirical data that answers age-old questions like “what could have happened if…” while also bringing new questions to life. Turning baseball into rocket science, Statcast uses a missile radar system to measure every pitched ball’s movements more than 2,000 times per second, streams and collects data in real-time through Amazon Kinesis (our service for processing real-time streaming data), stores the data on Amazon S3, and then performs analytics in Amazon EC2. The suite of services will generate nearly 7 TB of raw statistical data per game and up to 17 PB per season, shedding quantitative light on age-old, but never verified, baseball pearls of wisdom like “never slide into first.”

About seven years ago, Netflix announced that they were going to move all their applications to the cloud. Netflix chose AWS because it provided them with the greatest scale and the broadest set of services and features. Netflix recently completed their cloud migration, and stories like theirs are becoming increasingly common as companies like Infor, Intuit, and Time Inc., have made plans to move all of their applications to AWS.

AWS is already good enough today to attract more than 1 million customers, and the service is only going to get better from here. As the team continues their rapid pace of innovation, we’ll offer more and more capabilities to let builders build unfettered, it will get easier and easier to collect, store and analyze data, we’ll continue to add more geographic locations, and we’ll continue to see growth in mobile and “connected” device applications. Over time, it’s likely that most companies will choose not to run their own data centers, opting for the cloud instead.

Invention Machine

We want to be a large company that’s also an invention machine. We want to combine the extraordinary customer-serving capabilities that are enabled by size with the speed of movement, nimbleness, and risk acceptance mentality normally associated with entrepreneurial start-ups.

Can we do it? I’m optimistic. We have a good start on it, and I think our culture puts us in a position to achieve the goal. But I don’t think it’ll be easy. There are some subtle traps that even high-performing large organizations can fall into as a matter of course, and we’ll have to learn as an institution how to guard against them. One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is “one-size-fits-all” decision making.

Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups.

As organizations get larger, there seems to be a tendency to use the heavy-weight Type 1 decision-making process on most decisions, including many Type 2 decisions. The end result of this is slowness, unthoughtful risk aversion, failure to experiment sufficiently, and consequently diminished invention.1 We’ll have to figure out how to fight that tendency.

And one-size-fits-all thinking will turn out to be only one of the pitfalls. We’ll work hard to avoid it… and any other large organization maladies we can identify.

Sustainability and Social Invention

Our growth has happened fast. Twenty years ago, I was driving boxes to the post office in my Chevy Blazer and dreaming of a forklift. In absolute numbers (as opposed to percentages), the past few years have been especially significant. We’ve grown from 30,000 employees in 2010 to more than 230,000 now. We’re a bit like parents who look around one day and realize their kids are grown – you blink and it happens.

One thing that’s exciting about our current scale is that we can put our inventive culture to work on moving the needle on sustainability and social issues.

Two years ago we set a long-term goal to use 100% renewable energy across our global AWS infrastructure. We’ve since announced four significant wind and solar farms that will deliver 1.6 million megawatt hours per

1 The opposite situation is less interesting and there is undoubtedly some survivorship bias. Any companies that habitually use the light-weight Type 2 decision-making process to make Type 1 decisions go extinct before they get large.

year of additional renewable energy into the electric grids that supply AWS data centers. Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge has already come online. We reached 25% sustainable energy use across AWS last year, are on track to reach 40% this year, and are working on goals that will cover all of Amazon’s facilities around the world, including our fulfillment centers.

We’ll keep expanding our efforts in areas like packaging, where our culture of invention led to a big winner – the Frustration-Free Packaging program. Seven years ago we introduced the initiative with 19 products. Today, there are more than 400,000 globally. In 2015, the program eliminated tens of millions of pounds of excess packaging material. Frustration-Free Packaging is a customer delighter because the packages are easier to open. It’s good for the planet because it creates less waste. And it’s good for shareholders because, with tighter packaging, we ship less “air” and save on transportation costs.

We also continue to pioneer new programs for employees – like Career Choice, Leave Share, and Ramp Back. Career Choice pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses that teach in-demand skills, regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. We’ll pay for nursing certifications, airplane mechanic courses, and many others. We’re building classrooms with glass walls right in our fulfillment centers as a way to encourage employees to participate in the program and to make it easy. We see the impact through stories like Sharie Warmack – a single mother of eight who worked in one of our Phoenix fulfillment centers. Career Choice paid for Sharie to get licensed to drive an 18-wheeler. Sharie worked hard, passed her tests, and she’s now a long-haul driver for Schneider Trucking – and loving it. This coming year, we’re launching a program to teach other interested companies the benefits of Career Choice and how to implement it.

Leave Share and Ramp Back are programs that give new parents flexibility with their growing families. Leave Share lets employees share their Amazon paid leave with their spouse or domestic partner if their spouse’s employer doesn’t offer paid leave. Ramp Back gives birth mothers additional control over the pace at which they

return to work. Just as with our health care plan, these benefits are egalitarian – they’re the same for our fulfillment center and customer service employees as they are for our most senior executives.

Renewable energy, Frustration-Free Packaging, Career Choice, Leave Share, and Ramp Back are examples of a culture that embraces invention and long-term thinking. It’s very energizing to think that our scale provides opportunities to create impact in these areas.

I can tell you it’s a great joy for me to get to work every day with a team of such smart, imaginative, and passionate people. On behalf of all of us at Amazon, thank you for your support as shareholders. 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

Amazon.com, Inc.