The Startup
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The Startup

The real power of the Jeff Bezos memo and how you can put it into practice (even if you don’t have any meetings)

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We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos.

The power of the memo

give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas.

Putting it into practice

  • Startup ideas: you know that list of ideas you keep in Evernote or scribbled on a paper somewhere… how do you know which ideas are worth actually pursuing? Take the time to write 2–3 pages to really flesh it out. What’s the value you are creating, for who, how will you reach them, how are you different from the competition.
  • Planning your writing: if you are a blogger or writer and are regularly creating content, take the time to write a paragraph or two that tells the story of your post. Rather than just keeping a list of potential titles and trying to write a full post from there, take the time to flesh out how it will flow and how the ideas actually fit together.
  • Daily tasks: rather than a to-do list, try writing out a narrative of all of the things you want to get done in a day and how you will go about doing them.
  • Goals: try writing a page about each of your goals rather than just having a list. Ditching the bullet points here will force you to think more about the motivations behind your goals and what it will actually take to achieve them.

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Greg Dickens

Maker, recovering banker, living in Greece. Building affordable digital tools for local news and other indie publishers at