Listening to Doug Gurr last night speaking at the Retail Week Etail Powerlist launch party one thing really resonated with me. That one thing was how Doug and Amazon are still grounded, humble, modest and passionate. Despite being one of the most significant individuals within one of the most remarkable technology led organisations on the world stage, Doug’s speech was authentic, down to earth, relaxed and genuinely humble.
Doug stated that one of the cornerstones of Amazon’s success was their “It’s still day one” philosophy. Doug joked that Amazon was now 20, waving goodbye to its teenage years, nonetheless, it views every day “as day one” and that in his view, technology innovation and disruption was only just beginning and we hadn’t seen anything yet. This mantra coined by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos has enabled them to continue pushing forwards without any notion of complacency, continue innovating, continue inventing, continue acquiring challenging and competing.
One got the notion that Doug was a genuinely likeable and genuinely liked, that he pulled others along with him and that he was in it because he loved people. Testament to this was the resounding cheers that he got from the contingent from Asda-Wal*Mart, Doug’s former corporate family.
Doug’s closing remarks highlighted the depth of quality of the talent that was present in the UK retail sector and in the room that evening, talent that shouldn’t go unrecognised which is why for us sponsoring an event like the Etail Powerlist is so important. Listing to Doug speaking in this humble, selfless way it would have been easy to forget that he represents a global organisation which has now surpassed a staggering $100bn in annual revenues and that Doug himself has under his belt a PhD in Theoretical computing, both of which are no mean feat.
Retail is the backbone of the UK economy and for Black Pepper helping and being part of that sector is constant source of challenge and enjoyment because we get to develop really exciting stuff and work with some of the most impressive individuals in technology today.