Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Amazon's John Darrow

Badges in Amazon tell you how long a person has been with the company for.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of being in a meeting with John Darrow, a Senior Principal Engineer wearing a Silver badge; which means he's been with the company for over 20 years!

John joined Amazon in 1998. I approached him after the meeting to say hi and to ask him about Amazon's early days and the massive growth and transformation that he's witnessed here. I read "One Click" few days ago so the stories were quite fresh in my mind.

He was very generous with his time and excited to share his personal journey at Amazon, and willing to answer my very curious questions like: "how often did you see Jeff Bezos?", "were you in the same building?", "is it just being in the right place at the right time?", "was Amazon website really just an interface for an Excel sheet of all the books that 2 US suppliers had?", "how stressful did it get when investors requested to see profit?", "what kept you at a tech company for more than 20 years?", "what excites you about Amazon?", and many more!

John has been through it all. This actually felt like having a mini book discussion with a person who lived these stories in a past life. And, it is much more interesting to hear the tiny details about how and what *actually* happened than read about them! Thank you, John! :)

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