"Unveiling the Secrets of Success: How the World Works and How Amazon's "Working Backwards" Method Can Transform Your Approach"

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Oct 18, 2023

4 min read


"Unveiling the Secrets of Success: How the World Works and How Amazon's "Working Backwards" Method Can Transform Your Approach"


Understanding the underlying principles of how the world works can provide valuable insights into various aspects of life, from the growth of organisms to the success of businesses. This article explores the common points and connections between these diverse phenomena, shedding light on essential truths that can shape our approach to success. Additionally, we delve into Amazon's unique "Working Backwards" method, which offers a transformative way to approach new initiatives.

  • 1. The Natural Growth Rate: Quality over Short-Term Gains

In both the natural world and the business realm, there exists a natural growth rate that, when exceeded, can lead to detrimental consequences. For instance, fish and rats with artificially accelerated growth experience shorter lifespans compared to those with slower, more natural growth. Similarly, tech companies that push beyond their natural growth limits often sacrifice long-term quality and, ultimately, survival. This highlights the importance of prioritizing quality over short-term gains and recognizing the significance of sustainable growth.

  • 2. The Power of Cold Industries and Hot Talents

Jeff Bezos famously stated, "your margin is my opportunity." This concept illustrates how the biggest opportunities arise when talented individuals collide with stagnant or struggling industries. Just as a hot talent can revitalize a cold industry, individuals with a diverse range of mediocre skills, mixed together at the right time, can achieve remarkable success. This insight challenges the notion that expertise in a single area is the sole path to success, emphasizing the potential of multidimensional talents.

  • 3. Extraordinary Claims and Extraordinary Evidence

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this principle holds true across various domains. It is crucial to subject exceptional claims to rigorous scrutiny to ensure their credibility. This notion encourages critical thinking and discernment, safeguarding against the spread of misinformation or unfounded beliefs.

  • 4. The Paradox of Expectations and Wealth

The Tocqueville Paradox highlights the phenomenon where people's expectations rise faster than living standards. This means that even in exponentially wealthier societies, there can be a decline in overall happiness and satisfaction. This paradox underscores the importance of continuous innovation and improvement, as humans constantly seek progress and positive change. It also explains the concept of happiness or lifestyle creep, where individuals quickly adapt to improved circumstances and desire ongoing advancements.

  • 5. The Soil's Nutrient Balance and Success

The availability of the most abundant nutrient in the soil is only as good as the availability of the least abundant nutrient. This principle applies metaphorically to various aspects of life, including personal growth and success. Just as a lack of balance in soil nutrients can hinder plant growth, neglecting to address all essential aspects of personal development can impede success. This insight emphasizes the importance of maintaining a well-rounded approach to growth, considering all necessary factors for optimal progress.

  • 6. The Power of Internal Press Releases: Amazon's "Working Backwards" Method

Amazon's "Working Backwards" method, which starts with writing an internal press release for a finished product, offers a transformative approach to innovation. By focusing on the customer problem, current limitations, and how the new product will surpass existing solutions, this method provides a clear framework for effective product development. It forces product managers to critically evaluate their ideas and identify the most compelling ones worth pursuing.


To achieve success, we must understand the fundamental principles that govern the world around us. By recognizing the natural growth limits, the power of unique talents, the importance of evidence-based claims, the paradox of expectations, the balance of personal growth, and the value of Amazon's "Working Backwards" method, we can adopt a more informed and strategic approach to our endeavors.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize quality over short-term gains, ensuring sustainable growth in your personal and professional pursuits.
  • 2. Embrace multidimensional talents and explore the potential of combining diverse skills to maximize your chances of success.
  • 3. Implement Amazon's "Working Backwards" method by crafting internal press releases for your ideas, providing clarity and focus while evaluating their viability.

By integrating these insights and actionable advice into our approach, we can navigate the complexities of the world and unleash our full potential for success. Remember, understanding how the world works is the first step towards mastering it.

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