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February 15, 2018

What makes a Day 1 company? According to Jeff Bezosletter to Amazon shareholders in 2016, the qualities are: high velocity decision making, true customer obsession, embracing external trends and resisting proxies, that is to say, not letting the business process become a proxy for the business goal.

Mr. Bezos acknowledges that this is “easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations.” However Amazon is now far from a start-up: the company accounted for 89 percent of online spending among the biggest holiday retailers in 2017, and reported a record profit of $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter.

Yet, it continues to look for new business models to disrupt: Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway have formed a not-for-profit healthcare company with the goal of lowering medical costs for employees of the three companies and “potentially all Americans.” The news wiped billions off  the share prices of the five biggest US health insurers.