Invent and Wander  is a collection of writings and talks by Jeff Bezos  that provide an astoundingly clear look into his mind.
It’s a blueprint for company building.
The shareholder letters are particularly illuminative in this aspect and often read more like blog posts or thought pieces. A common thread through them all is the importance of a long term perspective. Explicitly or implicitly, that concept is present in every letter and every other tenant builds from that perspective.
Some personal year standouts:
- 1997  establishes the long term perspective and provides explicit principles (e.g. favoring cash flow over GAAP accounting) built on top of it. These principles are shockly consistent and are continuously referred to in later letters.
- 1999  includes an excellent quote displaying a pure, fundamental business awareness: “We have a market-size unconstrained opportunity in an area where the underlying foundational technology we employ improves every day. That is not normal.” It’s like understanding that once a ball is rolled down a hill, gravity will increase its velocity given time, guaranteed.
- 2000  is a classic letter that starts with a single word sentence: “Ouch.” It continues to emphasize the long term perspective and even doubles down on the necessity of bold bets to expand the future business despite the broad market downturn.
- 2005  explores decision making and the tradeoffs between rational (data-driven) and instinctual (gut-driven) decision making. The former is more reliable but the latter drives uncapped upside; the latter is required in a long term perspective.
- 2008  introduces the concept of “working backward” to push innovation and avoid stagnation. Starting with immutable core principles instead of leveraging existing competencies forces adaption and combats complacency. Everything is always new.
- 2015  highlights the importance of a “failure culture” - only experimenting and failing can lead to long term leaps in growth.