An annual letter to shareholders has been released by Jeff Bezos the CEO at Amazon. In his letter, Bezos was quick to stress how important it is to have high standards when running a business, as with setting high standards, businesses can live up to the ever-rising expectations of consumers.
Bezos wrote that it was not easy to remain ahead of customer expectations and no one way is successful as it is a combination of several things. However, wrote Bezos, high standards are a huge part of it.
Bezos disclosed as well that Amazon had reached another new milestone as Prime, its subscription club, now has surpassed 100 million members around the globe. In just 2017, Amazon added more new members that any other previous year, while shipping more than five billion items through its membership service.
Bezos wrote that Amazon had also sold tens of millions of its Echo devices and its most devices ever in 2017.
Bezos, when referring to Whole Foods, said technical work was underway to bring members of Prime, benefits within the grocery chain.
The letter, which has been published by Bezos every year dating back to 1997, is considered one of the must-reads by business professionals due to its detail around the management principle and thinking over the long-term of the CEO at Amazon.
The letter this year focused on the setting of high standards. The CEO wrote that high standards can be taught and are contagious in an organization, but must be domain specific since they do not spread automatically from area to area.
To achieve the high standards set, Bezos said the exact meaning of them must be recognized in each particular area and set the scope to the realistic expectations to reach the goals.
He says there are four elements to the high standards; teachable, domain specific, recognizable and realistic scope.
In one part of the letter that was amusing, Bezos wrote an anecdote about one of his friends who had visited a handstand coach who had told her it would require six month for her to master that skill, while his friend thought it could be done in three or four days.
He used the anecdote to stress that realistic scope is imperative as unrealistic beliefs on scope kill the high standards that have been set and that keeps companies from reaching full potential.