Monday, May 20, 2019

What is the source of Jeff Bezos power?

What is the secret of success of the richest man in the world?

Unique innovation and technology?

Nope. Amazon is a pure retail company. Buy cheap, sell expensive. Get the margin in your pocket. Spend it to protect yourself from your own employees.
Most of the Amazon technology is to improve the process of buying-selling. Making money faster.
The more inhuman the process, the more money Amazon makes.
Apart from retail, what ways does Amazon use to monetize the technology?
- Software helping to deport people out of the country
- System tracking the employees
- etc

Motivated employees who love the work?

Nope. Absolute majority of Amazon employees hate their work. They work for money only. Whether it is warehouse associate or software engineer. Even Amazon "soldiers" HR hate their job.
Most Amazon engineers dream to run away to the "normal" company. They only reason they stay at Amazon is they still don't have other offer.

The power of Bezos is simply our fear

Amazon employees don't like their work. The only thing holding them is fear:
- Fear to lose family income
- Fear to lose immigration status
- Fear to lose medical insurance for your relatives
- Fear of persecution (private detectives, attorneys, violence threats)

You can say: Oleg! You should replace "Amazon" word with "any big company". That is because any big company works like that. An employee of any company is afraid of losing his job.

My response is as follows. Yes it is true. Any company holds employees by paying salaries. However, the Amazon case is different. It is all about statistics. E. g. Amazon has abnormal level of suicides among fulfillment center employees. Amazon has abnormal level of immigrants among engineers because Americans don't want to work for Amazon. That allows the company to implement "working visa slavery".

But the scariest thing is treatment of relatives (dependents). Employees of any organisation are afraid of termination because of medical insurance for children, parents, spouse etc. This fear is especially high if some of relatives are disabled and needs regular treatment.

Amazon uses this fear in a hardest possible way. That is the outrageous distinction between Amazon and other companies. When Amazon retaliates employee's complaint, the company cancels medical insurance for the relative even if the employee is not terminated yet. Preventing to treat your disabled relative is even worse than the hostile environment.

This becomes especially hard in other countries where Amazon has its businesses. If an employee works not in the US, most probably he is not protected by COBRA program (providing insurance if an employee is terminated).

Of course, it is not a normal practice in other companies to commit threats of violence towards its own employees. But in Amazon it is. No, it is not a single case. It is a culture, because I have an evidence of more than one case.

So what to do?

Don't feed the monster with your fear

The major thing Bezos needs is to feel your fear. I get calories from cabbage and apples. Fast food lovers get calories from Big Mac. Bezos gets his calories from our fear.

Than he can push and squash you as much as he can because he knows you will endure. You will endure because you are afraid of consequences. Because you are afraid to complain.
But if all oppressed employees would complain simultaneously, join and fight together, the monster will run away. And Mr Bezos would feel the fear himself.

Don't become a victim. Don't be afraid to complain. Don't be afraid to become a whistle blower.


  1. Great job and it's all true. Thank you Oleg, this is an other side of bezos face

    1. Thank you for your support Ismaila. It is nice to hear from user who is not anonymous