What A Critical Doer Can Learn From Amazon’s “Prime Day”

 A Critical Doer keeps risk and failure in context with opportunity and success 


Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  No doubt, this thought appears to have guided Amazon’s thinking since the company’s inception.  Yesterday, Amazon added another chapter to its long list of innovations…a summer shopping event intended to rival The Thanksgiving Black Friday sales called “Prime Day.”

As I understand the concept, Prime Day targeted its existing Prime Members with deep discounts while also making a push to gain new Amazon Prime subscribers.  The early reviews are finding few consumers happy with the execution of Prime Day.  The complaints I’ve seen range from limited availability of the most popular items to the requirement to gain eligibility through purchasing an Amazon Prime membership.

The lesson for a Critical Doer doesn’t come from the mechanics of execution.  Innovators like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will not look at Prime Day as a failure because he views innovation as a continuum of thinking.  Rather than viewing the difficulties of Prime Day in isolation, it’s likely Amazon will take the opportunity to reflect upon the events of the day, frame those lessons against the company’s purpose, and believe the day brought them a step closer to delivering the summer shopping experience that was originally intended.

One reason I’m confident in this analysis is Amazon’s mission statement:  “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”  Amazon’s “why” is about the customer’s shopping experience.  Leaving customers unhappy would be inconsistent with Amazon’s core belief that the path to sustained business success is about the customer’s shopping experience.

In our professional and personal lives, we take risks to make big leaps in progress.  Sometimes they work, sometimes not.  Your challenge when a good idea doesn’t execute smoothly is to not let your thinking become clouded on righteousness of your cause and mechanical problems in execution.  If your reason for trying something new is sound, deep dive on the execution problems and try again.

Failure is a natural and necessary part of success; keeping risk and failure in context with opportunity and success is what drives Critical Doers to persevere through challenges and achieve success.  I’m betting Amazon finds a way to bounce back…make sure your thinking will put you in a position to do the same.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


Note:  I am an Amazon Prime subscriber but I am not an Amazon employee, and I do not own Amazon stock or have any other equity interest in the company.


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Updated: July 16, 2015 — 9:19 am