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The Theory of Amazon

It is my opinion that the strategy of Jeff Bezos, and therefore Amazon is a lot simpler than you might think. It's been hidden in plain sight ever since he wrote the famous 1997 letter to shareholders.

In short:

Customer obsession is a euphemism for revenue growth.

A corollary to this is that the mission of becoming "earth's most customer obsessed company" literally means getting to #1 on the Fortune 500 list. If you believe my theory, then in effect, Jeff / Amazon has been publicly stating the mission is to become Fortune #1 for nearly 30 years.

A secondary corollary is that there will be no spin-offs from Amazon until the mission is achieved. After that, I think a spin-off of AWS is likely, for the reasons that other people have articulated elsewhere.

Is it possible Jeff has been working backwards from his 'I won' press release since 1997? I think yes.

February 05, 2026

Amazon Announces Financial Results, will Spin-Off Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Over the last year, Amazon completed a thirty-year mission to become the world's most customer-obsessed1 company.

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 5, 2026-- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2025.

Amazon passed its biggest milestone to-date in 2025: by year-end, we grew revenue to $760 billion 2, and became the largest company on earth. Our mission of thirty years to become the world's most customer obsessed company is complete, but it's still Day 1.

Amazon.com Inc. will become Prime Inc. (NASDAQ: PRIM). Prime is the largest membership program, and last-mile delivery network in the world. Over thirty years of inventing, and relentlessly focusing on our customers has allowed us to deliver the largest selection, at the lowest prices, with the fastest shipping to our customers. Prime Inc will continue to invest in our fulfillment network, and deliver valuable benefits to our Prime members. Our customers love fast-free shipping, Prime Video, and many other Prime benefits. We will continue to invent new ways to delight our customers. It's still Day 1 at Prime.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be spun-off to become AWS Inc (NASDAQ: AWS). AWS has been the leader in the cloud since the launch of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in 2006. In the twenty years since then AWS has launched over four hundred services, and thousands of features. Today AWS is available in over 40 regions, with millions of customers including developers, enterprises, and governments all over the world. It's still Day 1 at AWS.

"We first measure ourselves in terms of the metrics most indicative of our market leadership: customer and revenue growth" that's what I wrote in the 1997 letter to shareholders, which I attached to our annual report every year while I was CEO. I'm so proud that we finally measured up to our mission, Amazon is now the earth's most customer-obsessed company. I particularly want to thank Andy Jassy for continuing the mission while I was chilling on my yacht. For the rest of you, it remains Day 1.

-- Jeff Bezos

I attach, again, the Amazon 1997 letter to shareholders.

Jeff Bezos is happy

...Financial results follow...


1: Amazon has changed their website to replace 'customer obsession' with 'customer centric', but the word obsession was used for most of it's history.

2: If you take Amazon's 2023 revenue of $575B, and project it at 15% growth for two years, you get $760 in 2025. If you take Walmart's 2023 revenue of $648 billion, and project it at 5% growth then you get $715 Billion in 2025. The growth rates of Amazon and Walmart are a little hard to figure out due to the pandemic disruption, but this seems like a reasonable guess.