One thing I’ve learned with how diverse we are is each business runs as a separate company. It may not get reported publicly, but internally there’s a full P&L for every business. The company knows the exact revenue, expenses and profit. Externally, it’s just AWS and then everything else is combined.
The top execs that report to the CEO are more of a VC or PE firm. They review business plans and financial plans for each business. They approve the investments and makes sure each business hits it’s targets.
There are some business processes that apply company wide, but they are very few. Everyone has a weekly business review to review their key business metrics. Everyone has a monthly business review to provide updates on key projects. Everyone uses the doc process to present ideas and make decisions. I’ve become a fan of the doc process. It ends up being very data driven. Everyone reads the doc at the start of the meeting then you discuss. It’s very different from most companies where decisions are mostly about how charismatic the PowerPoint presenter is. Decisions are made at the lowest possible level. Employees decide what to do and management’s job is to enable their success.
Apple is structured completely different. It’s actually pretty amazing how successful both companies are while having completely different structure and operating styles. Apple decisions are made top down, and then it’s up to the team to execute the vision of the top execs.