A question I get asked frequently is how working in industry is different from working in academia. My answer from the beginning has been that the main difference is teamwork. While in academia there are collaborations among faculty and there are student teams working together, the work is still rather individual, as is the reward structure. In industry you cannot get anything done without teamwork. Products do not get build by individuals but by teams; definition, implementation, delivery and operation are all collaborative processes that have many people from many different disciplines working together.
As such the Information Week's Chief of the Year award cannot be my award. It is an award for all the Amazonians who in the past years have developed technologies and processes that are so innovative that they have defined a whole business landscape: first in ecommerce and now with Amazon Web Services they are defining Cloud Computing through the delivery of Infrastructure as a Service. Compared to the immense work that was needed to make all of this work, my involvement has been small.
A relentless focus on innovation by all Amazonians has made this possible: from new hardware development to the definition of new business models, from building ultra-reliable storage services to a massively scalable compute cloud, from pervasive monitoring and performance control to revolutionary efficient software architectures. At a scale and with reliability, performance and cost-effectiveness that is unparalleled in today's technology world. All these advances are based on 13 years of experience with building the world's most customer centric ecommerce operation, and as such the success of AWS is absolutely not the work of a single individual but the success of all Amazonians.
But this is only the beginning. We are intent on building the world's most customer-centric cloud computing operation and, as we have done with ecommerce, we will not accept the old norms of what must be done. We will always focus on what our customers need and work backwards from there. We will continue to innovate and roll out services and features that address the real needs of our customers.
It is still only Day One...