This has to be the most amazing start to an annual report ever – can’t see many UK boards sanctioning this, but you can’t argue with sales growth of 40% YOY!

Their 2010 Annual Report (Amazon, 2011) starts:

“To our shareholders: Random forests, naïve Bayesian estimators, RESTful services, gossip protocols, eventual consistency, data sharding, anti-entropy, Byzantine quorum, erasure coding, vector clocks … walk into certain Amazon meetings, and you may momentarily think you’ve stumbled into a computer science lecture”.
Look inside a current textbook on software architecture, and you’ll find few patterns that we don’t apply at Amazon. We use high-performance transactions systems, complex rendering and object caching, workflow and queuing systems, business intelligence and data analytics, machine learning and pattern recognition, neural
networks and probabilistic decision making, and a wide variety of other techniques.

And while many of our systems are based on the latest in computer science research, this often hasn’t been sufficient: our architects and engineers have had to advance research in directions that no academic had yet taken. Many of the problems we face have no textbook solutions, and so we — happily — invent new approaches.

How Amazon stays ahead of the game…

This is part of my update on an Amazon case study

From Jeff Bezos in Year End Amazon report

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