We can decipher valuable lessons from the annual letters to shareholders written by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Becky Berkman

2019-07-19 18:40:00 Fri ET

We can decipher valuable lessons from the annual letters to shareholders written by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon is highly customer-centric because the word variants of *customer and customers* attain the highest word count in each of his annual letters to Amazon shareholders in 1997-2003, 2008-2009, and 2012-2017. In addition to this customer focus, each letter indicates a clear concern with robust financial health. As Bezos reiterates in his letter to Amazon shareholders back in 2004, he emphasizes that the *ultimate long-term financial measure [for Amazon] is free cash flow per share*. This focus sheds new light on Amazon corporate value creation via cash capital utilization that drives steady free cash flow growth in the long run.

Another major aspect of Amazon business focus from 2007 to present relates to planting seeds of firm expansion into key ventures such as Kindle e-reader devices, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and self-service e-commerce platform features and improvements for cost-effective sales and fast delivery services. At Amazon, the most transformative inventions empower authors, auctioneers, third-party sellers, and other network members to unleash their creativity. On balance, Bezos believes in an optimal level of customer centricity, and he cares for other stakeholders such as blue-collar employees, content providers, and third-party sellers etc.

 


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