The Culture of Metrics

The Most Important Person in the Room

It is somewhat of an irony that the most important person in the Amazon conference room when Jeff Bezos holds meetings with his staff is an empty chair. Because this empty chair, aptly designated "The Empty Chair" (Anders 2012), represents the customer to their wholely online retail business, a customer whom they never really get to meet whether as a representation at a meeting or as a real customer visiting the store and making purchases.

Yet it is this very customer-driven approach which serves as the basis for everything they do at the self-proclaimed "Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company", which has seen Amazon grow and evolve from a simple online bookstore, to the Fortune 500 success it is today.

The Culture of Metrics

"Amazon tracks its performance against about 500 measurable goals, [and] nearly 80% [of those] relate to customer objectives" (Anders 2012). By recording every move an Amazon visitor makes, from his/her mouse clicks to the amount of time spent, as well as methods of searching for items, an enormous amount of data is collected and crunched into giving the company a window of information about its customers' behaviours, likes and dislikes. This is Amazon's 'Culture of Metrics'.

From Human to Software Based Recommendations

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