Amazon’s Six-Page Memo

All amazon product definition start with what has nowbecome known as a six-pager. The limited constraints enforces brevity and conciseness. If you can’t define your product within these confines-you need to rethink the concept. The very first page starts with a

press release–putting the end goal a customer first. It immediately forces the mindset of customer first and framing everything after according to what the final product vision is to be. The press release which is about a page in length consists of:

Heading – Name of the product

Summary -In one paragraph summarize the product benefit.

Problem – Describe the problem the product solves.

Solution – Describe how the product solves this problem.

Quote – Provide a quote from someone in the company.

Getting Started – Describe how to someone would get started using the product.

Customer Quote – Provide a hypothetical customer quote describing their experience.

Call to Action – Provide next steps.

The next section is a narrative that explains what needs to be done. It provides additional context, approaches for how to address the underlying problem statement, methodology and conclusions. It addresses similar approaches and what differentiates this solution. finally the narrative expresses the value for the customer and the innovation that it is providing for them.

A frequently Asked questions (FAQ) summarites and addresses relevant and related questions.

Finally, an appendix can be used to provide additional references and links to further reading material.

According to Jeff Bezos, the structure provides the necessary constraints to help articulate products clearly. There’s no room to get lost in unimportant details and no space to be spent on anything but relating the fundamental concepts.

Afterwards the document can be used as a reference. Is development staying true to the product concept or is energy and resources being spent beyond the original product vision?

Next time you need to formulate a product concept, try starting with a press release and put customer focus first and foremost.

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