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The Secret Genius of Amazon – Part 1

With Chaim LandauEP 185

Amazon is a behemoth that dominates the world, yet it runs like a startup company in some ways. How did founder Jeff Bezos manage to pull that off, while allowing it to continue to grow ever bigger? Join Meny and his guest, Chaim Landau, Principal Cloud Delivery Architect at Amazon Web Services in Tel Aviv, as they talk about the reasons that Amazon has been so successful, their insightful and helpful leadership principles, the importance of noticing and grabbing the opportunities that life offers you, the actual meaning of company culture (and why it matters), the way to start working in I.T., and more.

Transcript

[00:01 – 07:15] Innovating at Amazon’s Scale

Amazon’s culture fosters autonomy and fast decision-making
The startup-like environment within a tech giant
Chaim’s early intrigue with technology and his unconventional path into IT

[07:16 – 14:00] From Curiosity to Cloud Expertise

The journey from a foundational interest in computers to a leading role in AWS
Overcoming challenges and the power of self-learning
The significance of mentorship and coaching in Chaim’s career

[14:00 – 21:00] The Amazon Leadership Philosophy

The influence of Amazon’s leadership principles on employee behavior and company success
How Amazon maintains its innovative edge through culture
Chaim’s transition from traditional IT roles to cloud computing

[21:00 – 28:00] AWS: Pioneering Cloud Transformation

The evolution of AWS and its role in Amazon’s ecosystem
The creation and global impact of cloud computing
Chaim’s role in advancing Israel’s public sector through AWS

[28:00 – 36:22] Culture as Amazon’s Backbone

The tangible effects of Amazon’s culture on its operations and success
The distinction between perks and culture in the tech industry
Implementing Amazon’s leadership principles in daily operations

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Practical Pointers
When you decide to work in I.T., don’t waste precious time obsessing over which specific skill you’re going to learn; chances are, you’ll move on to other areas, anyway. The most important issue is just getting your foot in the door.
Although Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world, it runs largely like a very effective startup - and that’s because of the Amazon Leadership Principles. So read them and internalize them; they’re works of genius.
Chaim wasn’t looking for a new opportunity, but when it came, it was perfect for him. There are opportunities all around us, and our job is to recognize that they’re there, and grab them when we see them.
A lot of companies claim to focus on culture and espouse certain principles, but don’t implement them in real life. Remember that actual company culture is a common way of doing things - and it results from selling ideas. You can’t predict everything that will happen, but if your team has a common approach, you’re more likely than not to catch problems before they create major headaches.
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Guest Bio
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Chaim Landau

Chaim Landau is a Principal Cloud Delivery Architect for Amazon Web Service Professional Services, where he is responsible for assisting the public sector in Israel modernize their technology by helping them build their foundational cloud capabilities. He leads clients through their transformation journey to the cloud, and assists them in building long-term strategies that align with their business goals. Chaim is a passionate advocate for the adoption of Amazonian culture and methodologies, both within the Israeli Amazon division and among its customers.

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