This is the question that has consumed me for the last ten years. I have sold to and bought from Amazon in about as many ways as one person can; I built an auto parts brand that sold thousands of SKUs to Amazon as a vendor (both stocking and drop ship) and as a marketplace seller (both “seller-fulfilled” and Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA), before selling the company to a private equity fund in 2018. And I am now the founder and CEO of a startup called Stedi (a modern EDI platform, if you’re familiar with EDI) that runs on Amazon Web Services; we automate transactions like purchase orders and invoices between brands and retailers.
Retail is my universe, and Amazon is my obsession. I’ve written this short book to summarize the mental model that this obsession has led me to.
Amazon over the past 20 years has been as meaningful an economic revelation as Walmart was in the 20 years before it, and I don’t say that lightly: Walmart is one of the wonders of the modern world, built from scratch in a hyper-competitive environment, scaled from nothing to the largest company in the US by revenue and by headcount, all resulting from a singular vision of saving everyday people money with everyday low prices. It is the most successful social welfare system ever implemented, saving billions and billions of dollars for everyday Americans without costing taxpayers a dime. It is a testament to the power of compounding interest, to the power of a focused plan executed violently for decades.