BLOG: Bezos Might Actually Listen to His Newsroom
With a mindset of experimentation, he'll take new ideas and test them on a small scale, and analyze the results. That's not a novel approach to management: but I do think that Bezos realizes, as many tech companies do, that large, entrenched, bureaucratic organizations have a tendency to choke out innovative ideas by the time they reach the boardroom.
I'm not trying to paint Bezos as an angel or a savior, but I do think he has a lot more to teach the newspaper industry than he needs to learn from it, turning the focus to the user and the innovator being two important items.
Here's a snippet from a 2004 Fast Company profile of the Amazon founder that I found revealing:
If Bezos's personality is decidedly noncorporate, so are some of his ideas about how to run a large organization. One of Bezos's more memorable behind-the-scenes moments came during an off-site retreat, says Risher. "People were saying that groups needed to communicate more. Jeff got up and said, 'No, communication is terrible!' " The pronouncement shocked his managers. But Bezos pursued his idea of a decentralized, disentangled company where small groups can innovate and test their visions independently of everyone else. He came up with the notion of the "two-pizza team": If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, it's too large. That limits a task force to five to seven people, depending on their appetites.
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.