Amazon is a company that is known for innovation and moving fast. Jeff Bezos once said, “Failure and innovation are inseparable twins.” I agree, and combined with speedy decision making, fast innovation means fast failure. Failure is a valuable tool for learning, sharing, and correcting errors to improve our innovations. This is not just a philosophy, it’s a scientific principle as well as a mathematical intuition used in such machine learning algorithms as gradient descent. In order to do this right, however, invested parties have a responsibility to challenge the decisions of both their peers and their leaders. Amazon has…

I was given some advice a while back by a senior leader for whom I have a ton of respect. She asked, as a leader, how I wanted to be remembered once I left Amazon. She said to pick those character traits and issues that stood out most to me from that exercise, and to write those down on a sticky placed on my monitor in front of me. The idea was to let that be a reminder to me in how to conduct myself in each interaction in which I became engaged. …

I recently took an Uber ride in a black Lincoln MKT. It was comfortable enough and I noticed the middle seats folded down to just about desk-height. I leaned forward to petition the driver, who went by A.G., “How would you feel about driving me from D.C. to Philadelphia and back next week?” A.G. shrugged. As long as I was paying he didn’t care where we went.

“That’s one expensive cheesesteak,” A.G remarked.

A week later, A.G. was in my driveway, scratching his head as I lugged multiple displays, cameras and a car battery into the back of his Lincoln…

I’ve held many job titles over the years. Yet, despite what my LinkedIn says, I’ve really been doing the same thing in all of them: I build stuff — I’m a Maker. Yeah, I know…cue the eye rolls. 🙄 🙄 🙄 — Regardless, it’s true. Chances are you’re a Maker, too.

Lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to make stuff. I’ll make a list of things I hope to build by the end of the week, and when Friday comes I am disappointed and surprised by my lack of progress. Now, some of this was because I disqualified “manager stuff”…


(This post was originally written in February of 2017. See the bottom for updates on the Portal experiment.)

The Portal in its simplest form is a video feed, constantly streaming, between two offices. Either side has the option of muting the feed or temporarily obscuring the camera, but the idea is to devote a large display area for a perpetual connection between two offices.

Why would anyone want to do this and how does this relate to collaboration? Articles and studies frequently pop up praising the benefits of working remotely (check out this collection of interviews related to remote working

Joshua Frattarola

Husband. Dad. Amazon Leader.|| Amazon ⬅️ Cisco ⬅️ Ivy ⬅️ CBSi ⬅️ Clicker ⬅️ Ask .com

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