Book Synopsis: Working Backwards is an insider's breakdown of Amazon's approach to culture, leadership, and best practices from two long-time Amazon executives.
Colin started at Amazon in 1998; Bill joined in 1999. In Working Backwards, these two long-serving Amazon executives reveal and codify the principles and practices that drive the success of one of the most extraordinary companies the world has ever known. With twenty-seven years of Amazon experience between them, much of it in the early aughts―a period of unmatched innovation that brought products and services including Kindle, Amazon Prime, Amazon Studios, and Amazon Web Services to life―Bryar and Carr offer unprecedented access to the Amazon way as it was refined, articulated, and proven to be repeatable, scalable, and adaptable.
With keen analysis and practical steps for applying it at your own company―no matter the size―the authors illuminate how Amazon’s fourteen leadership principles inform decision-making at all levels and reveal how the company’s culture has been defined by four characteristics: customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and operational excellence. Bryar and Carr explain the set of ground-level practices that ensure these are translated into action and flow through all aspects of the business.
Working Backwards is a practical guidebook and a corporate narrative, filled with the authors’ in-the-room recollections of what “Being Amazonian” is like and how it has affected their personal and professional lives. They demonstrate that success on Amazon’s scale is not achieved by the genius of any single leader, but rather through commitment to and execution of a set of well-defined, rigorously-executed principles and practices―shared here for the very first time.
About Our Speakers:
Bill Carr joined Amazon in 1999 and spent more than 15 years with the company. As Vice President of Digital Media, Bill launched and managed the company's global digital music and video businesses, including Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Amazon Studios. After Amazon, Bill was an Executive In Residence with Maveron, LLC, an early-stage, consumer-only venture capital firm. Bill later served as the Chief Operating Officer of OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S. Today Bill is co-founder of Working Backwards LLC where he coaches executives at both large and early-stage companies on how to implement the management practices developed at Amazon. He is the author of WORKING BACKWARDS: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon (St. Martin’s Press, February 9, 2021).
Colin Bryar joined Amazon in 1998 — four years after its founding — and spent the next 12 years as part of Amazon's senior leadership team as Amazon grew from a domestic (US-only) seller of books to a global, multi-dimensional powerhouse and innovator. Colin served as a Vice President at Amazon, and for two of his years was "Chief of Staff" to Jeff Bezos, AKA "Jeff's shadow", during which he spent each day attending meetings, traveling with, and discussing business and life with Jeff. After Amazon, he and his family relocated to Singapore for two years where Colin served as Chief Operating Officer of e-commerce company RedMart, which was subsequently sold to Alibaba. Colin is co-founder of Working Backwards LLC where he coaches executives at both large and early-stage companies on how to implement the management practices developed at Amazon. He is the author of WORKING BACKWARDS: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon (St. Martin’s Press, February 9, 2021.)
Sarah Kaplan is Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy, Distinguished Professor of Gender & the Economy and Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman. She is a co-author of the bestselling business book, Creative Destruction as well as Survive and Thrive: Winning Against Strategic Threats to Your Business. Her latest book, The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation was published in September 2019. Her research has covered how organizations participate in and respond to the emergence of new fields and technologies in biotechnology, fiber optics, financial services, nanotechnology and most recently, the field emerging at the nexus of gender and finance. Her current work focuses on applying an innovation lens to understanding the challenges for achieving gender equality.
, Daniel Ellul, (416) 978-6119