Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has penned a new letter to shareholders in which he points out that Amazon Web Services is bigger, and growing faster, than its parent company did at the same age.
“This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales,” Bezos writes. “Also this year, Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales … doing so at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone.”
AWS recently clocked up a decade of operations. Bezos thinks it set a trend and that “Over time, it’s likely that most companies will choose not to run their own data centers, opting for the cloud instead.”
He also hinted at future directions for AWS, writing that “we’ll offer more and more capabilities to let builders build unfettered, it will get easier and easier to collect, store and analyze data, we’ll continue to add more geographic locations, and we’ll continue to see growth in mobile and 'connected' device applications.”
On AWS' genesis, Bezos writes that “Many characterized AWS as a bold – and unusual – bet when we started.”
“'What does this have to do with selling books?' We could have stuck to the knitting. I’m glad we didn’t. Or did we? Maybe the knitting has as much to do with our approach as the arena. AWS is customer obsessed, inventive and experimental, long-term oriented, and cares deeply about operational excellence.”
“Most big technology companies are competitor focused,” he argues. “They see what others are doing, and then work to fast follow. In contrast, 90 to 95% of what we build in AWS is driven by what customers tell us they want.”