Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Snippet: How Amazon Created the Prime Membership Program ☇

Shared on May 3, 2019

Jason Del Rey for Vox/Recode:

But the idea came with huge risks, and it spurred real tension inside Amazon. Some managers resented that their projects appeared to be deprioritized for a secret program they knew little about. Others feared that Amazon’s top customers were going to abuse the program and ultimately bankrupt the company with soaring shipping costs.

And if it succeeded, Amazon Prime was going to mean big, uncomfortable changes on everything from how managers were evaluated by superiors to how the company fulfilled orders and moved goods from point A to point B.

The whole Prime development process is something that I hadn’t really thought about (I didn’t pay much attention to Amazon in the mid-2000s)—I considered it more that there was probably a point when Prime didn’t exist and then a point when it did. Nonetheless, in the context of that time and seeing how Amazon is today, it’s an impressive risk that paid off.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.