September 7: Good mechanisms outperform good intentions

"Good intentions never work, you need good mechanisms to make anything happen." -Jeff Bezos

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Source: Martin Harbech
Published: September 2021

Good mechanisms outperform good intentions

Ever heard sayings like this at work...

"We should try harder"

"We have to double down on this"

"We need more sense of urgency"

... and then nothing changes.

Oddly, vague statements like this make us feel better… even if we kinda know nothing meaningful is going to happen.

A famous Amazon saying by Jeff Bezos is:

Good intentions never work, you need good mechanisms to make anything happen.

This is why mechanisms are so important. Tomorrow’s fact will define what a mechanism is.