Up and Out!

Not everyone survived Amazon’s Navy SEAL-style ‘Up or Out’ culture.

Employees are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings. Long emails arrive late at midnight, followed by text messages explaining why they were not answered. Internal phone directory is setup in a way so colleagues can send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. At Amazon, it’s usual to see workers weeping at their desks.

It’s an extreme culture, but also a productive one and not for the faint of heart. And certainly, not everyone can survive such pressure and scrutiny. However, in the long run, both Jeff and Jobs ended up with a very loyal group of top-notch players whom they could trust to take on bigger responsibilities.