Jeff Bezos' Latest Shareholder Letter Makes the Case Against Too Much Efficiency
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Jeff Bezos’ Latest Shareholder Letter Makes the Case Against Too Much Efficiency

Thanks to Amazon’s meteoric rise and lots of press coverage about the company’s demanding work culture , most of us think of the company and its boss, Jeff Bezos , as ruthlessly efficient. And certainly, Amazon values hard word, strategic thinking, and squeezing the most out of resources. But according to the latest of Bezos’ annual letters to shareholders , efficiency is only part of the reason for Amazon’s incredibly success. Nose to the grindstone productivity is essential, he advises fellow strivers, but so is taking time to wander. Aimless wandering is an essential component of innovation. Usually it’s poets who argue for the soul-expanding power of aimless wandering ("I loaf and invite my soul," wrote Walt Whitman). But Bezos makes a more hard-nosed case for making space in your business for getting a little lost: Sometimes (often actually) in business, you do know where you’re going, and when you do, you can be efficient. Put in place a plan and execute. In contrast, wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided– by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s […]

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