June 19: How we think about decision making at Amazon

Source: 2015 Letter to shareholders

Source: 2015 Letter to shareholders
Published: 2016

How We Think About Decision Making at Amazon

Circulated: June 19, 2019

One-way doors (Type 1): decisions that are consequential and nearly irreversible; should be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation

Two-way doors (Type 2): decisions that are changeable and reversible; should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups. If you’ve made a suboptimal decision, you can reopen the door and go back through.

“As organizations get larger, there seems to be a tendency to use the heavy-weight Type 1 decision-making process on most decisions, including many Type 2 decisions. The end result of this is slowness, unthoughtful risk aversion, failure to experiment sufficiently, and consequently diminished invention. We’ll have to figure out how to fight that tendency.” — Jeff Bezos