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Source: Tenets and Decision Making
Published: June 2018

Tenets at Amazon

Circulated: July 24, 2019

A tenet is a principle or belief that guide decision making. Tenets are not written in stone and include the catchphrase “unless you know better ones” because tenets evolve. Tenet are either foundational describing why the team/product exists or aspirational which describe how a team/product intends to operate, even if it doesn’t do so today. Teams should try hard to have no more than 7 tenets. Be memorable — the best tenets are easy to remember.


Tenet Examples:

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) — Sellers are our customers: FBA simplifies Sellers’ lives — whether they sell locally or globally.
  • Information Security (InfoSec) — Security is measurable: We produce and communicate metrics on the effectiveness of our security programs.
  • AWS Internet-of-Things (IoT) — Necessary offline operations: We help customers build systems in the cloud that work in predictable ways when connectivity is limited.
  • Standard WorkProblems are treasures: We gladly surface problems because we are committed to resolving them.

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