You’ve heard the argument before. ‘This company is doing too many things.’ But think about Amazon, recent purchasers of Twitch (the video game streaming site), producing its own TV shows with legitimate pieces of hollywood, and even padding bottoms everywhere with an eco-friendly line of diapers.
This article about Bezos and the debacle with the Fire phone (“Jeff’s baby”, according to insiders) suggests that this might be an element of the story, but that there were other factors from cradle-to-grave on this project that made it doomed to fail.
One quote was particularly telling: “‘In essence, we were not building the phone for the customer, we were building it for Jeff’…With Bezos managing every critical decision, teams began second-guessing themselves trying to anticipate how he would react.”
Have you ever been on a project like this? Where the exec or your manager was more involved or believed more strongly in the product vision than you did? How did you handle it?
Also discussed at length is whether a company built on efficiency, built on delivering a high-quality, though mundane, service could compete on the level with ‘cool’ hardware providers, like Apple. Did Amazon overstep its bounds in trying to be too premium?
Other gems from this article: Bezos forces all of his PMs to start their projects with a fake press release as well. And there intention was to make dynamic perspective, namely a 3-d screen on a smartphone, their killer feature.