The Intersection of Media Richness Theory and AWS: A Tale of Effective Communication and Product Growth


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 08, 2023

5 min read


The Intersection of Media Richness Theory and AWS: A Tale of Effective Communication and Product Growth


In today's digital age, effective communication and product growth are two crucial elements for the success of any organization. The Media Richness Theory (MRT) provides insights into how different communication media can impact the conveyance of information and social presence. On the other hand, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services that have revolutionized the way organizations build and scale their products. This article explores the connection between MRT and AWS, highlighting the importance of communication in driving product growth.

Understanding Media Richness Theory:

Media Richness Theory, also known as information richness theory, is a framework used to evaluate the ability of communication media to reproduce information effectively. According to MRT, communication media can vary in their ability to convey and change understanding. Richer media, such as face-to-face interactions, allow for nonverbal cues and personal focus, promoting a closer relationship between communicators. In contrast, leaner media, like email or text messaging, lack these cues and are more suitable for routine information exchange.

The Role of Media Richness in Effective Communication:

MRT suggests that the choice of communication medium should align with the nature of the task at hand. Tasks involving interpersonal skills, such as negotiation or conflict resolution, require high social presence and thus benefit from richer media. On the other hand, routine information exchange can be efficiently handled through leaner media. Understanding this distinction is essential for organizations to foster effective communication among their members.

The Impact of Media Richness on Organizational Culture:

Each organization has its own unique culture and environment, which shape the perception of different communication media. For example, organizations that prioritize personal connections and collaboration may value richer media more than those that focus on efficiency and speed. Recognizing these cultural differences can help organizations select the most appropriate communication channels and optimize their communication strategies.

The AWS Journey: From Monolith to Services Company:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has revolutionized the way organizations build and scale their products. In the early days, AWS faced the challenge of supporting development in a monolithic system, which was difficult to maintain. To address this, an internal engineering document known as "The Distributed Computing Manifesto" was created. This document emphasized the importance of APIs and microservices architecture to drive a smoother development environment.

The Birth of AWS: A Services Company:

As AWS evolved, it made a conscious shift to become a "services company" with a well-documented set of APIs. This shift allowed internal teams to build and release independently, leading to improved efficiency and flexibility. The success of this approach in the internal context prompted AWS to test the external market by targeting affiliate marketers. The introduction of an SDK enabled marketers to query extensive data about Amazon's product catalog, providing a rich service for media sites.

The Working Backwards Approach:

One of the key factors behind AWS's success is its working backwards approach. This approach starts with a fundamental insight that customers are always dissatisfied and want more. By drafting press releases, FAQ documents, and visual representations of the customer experience, AWS ensures that its products address the pain points of its customers. This approach forces clarity and prevents building products for the sake of building, resulting in innovative solutions that meet customer needs.

The Growth of AWS: A Product Evolution:

AWS experienced rapid growth by continuously launching new services and improving existing ones. It started with the release of Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), offering scalable storage and computing resources to developers. These products quickly gained market acceptance, leading to significant revenue growth. AWS expanded its offerings to include databases, networking, and real-time data processing, catering to a wide range of customer needs.

Customer-Centric Sales Execution:

To drive further growth, AWS focused on sales execution and identified its ideal customer profile (ICP) as the #2 or #3 player in any industry. This approach allowed AWS to target customers who were more open to transformational IT solutions. Instead of competing with weak competition, AWS remained obsessed with delivering value to its customers and building long-term relationships.

The AWS New Product Flywheel:

AWS's success in launching new products created a virtuous cycle known as the AWS New Product Flywheel. Each new product release generated more business value for customers, driving increased demand for AWS infrastructure. This demand, in turn, funded the development of more new products, further reinforcing the cycle. AWS leveraged its gross margins to drive operating margins and support the growth of other Amazon businesses.


The intersection of Media Richness Theory and AWS highlights the importance of effective communication in driving product growth. Understanding the varying richness of communication media and aligning them with the nature of tasks can help organizations foster better collaboration and decision-making. AWS's journey from a monolithic system to a services company exemplifies the power of APIs, microservices, and a customer-centric approach in driving product innovation and market dominance. By prioritizing effective communication and customer satisfaction, organizations can harness the full potential of their products and services.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Assess the nature of tasks within your organization and choose communication media that align with their requirements. Richer media may be more suitable for interpersonal skills, while leaner media can be effective for routine information exchange.
  • 2. Embrace the working backwards approach to product development. Start with a clear understanding of customer pain points and draft press releases, FAQs, and visual representations to drive innovation towards meeting those needs.
  • 3. Focus on being customer-centric in your sales execution. Identify your ideal customer profile and strive to build long-term relationships by delivering value and addressing their unique challenges.

Note: The content in this article is a combination of information from various sources and does not cite any specific references.

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