Dear Matt Garman,
It pleases me to submit my candidacy as the next vice president and chief marketing officer for Amazon Web Services. The expression of a role like this always comes down to the unique perspective of the person in the job, so permit me to expound on why I believe I’d be the best Think Big candidate for this role.
- A role like this requires having walked a mile in the customers’ shoes, and I am a longstanding AWS customer myself. I’ve seen firsthand what aspects of AWS’s marketing resonate, which fail to gain traction, and which subject the company to mockery and derision. You couldn’t ask for more Customer Obsession when the person marketing AWS services to customers actually is a customer.
- Marketing necessitates telling stories about what the customer’s experience would be if they use your product or service — and I’m a consummate storyteller, as evidenced by the ridiculous number of posts I’ve been able to write about AWS over the past six years.
- As a business unit with an $80 billion run rate, AWS is certainly already focused on how it’ll drive the next $80 billion. While it’s true that the AWS bill never gets smaller on its own, AWS clearly wishes to accelerate adoption by new customers. Fortunately, this resonates with me, as I lack any semblance of patience.
Throughout my time with Last Week in AWS and The Duckbill Group, I have been a big believer in a Bias For Action. To that end, I’ve taken the liberty of showing how I envision the VP/CMO role unfolding in my first 30, 60, and 90 days.
My first 30 days
I’ll obviously begin by going through the usual AWS onboarding that applies to all new hires. As soon as is practical, I’ll emerge from that process to set two small things in motion.
The first thing I’ll do at the start of my tenure is take Ownership by meeting with key stakeholders to determine the longer term vision around AWS’s marketing strategy and map it to current marketing efforts. As the parable of Chesterton’s fence teaches us, only a fool removes something without understanding why it was created in the first place. I am many things — but I flatter myself by assuming that I’m very rarely as foolish as I may seem.
Second, just to see what the waters look like around a common AWS practice (giving things unfortunate names), I’ll find the nearest conference room to my office and rename it. Who objects? What obstacles arise along the way? Exactly how much can I get away with? Call this an experiment in Learn and Be Curious.
My first 60 days
AWS is a data-driven business, so by the end of my second month at AWS, I’ll have consumed and synthesized the graphs, charts, and long-form written narratives that are littered around the company. After processing my initial reactions of “Oh, so THAT’S why it is the way that it is,” “Wait, did they seriously think that this would work?” and “Oh my god, if this had actually worked, it would have ended up before a congressional committee,” I’ll presumably have gotten enough context to understand not merely the “what” but also the “why” behind so many puzzling aspects to AWS’s offerings.
Early indications from analyst conversations with Gartner and other shops will show a rising sense among customers that service naming at AWS is no longer the disaster it’s historically been. While the names are certainly not terrific, they’re at least amusing to a given service’s target audience, analysts will find.
AWS Infinidash will launch on Day 60, to worldwide fanfare and renown.
My first 90 days
My third month is when I will really shine. By then, I will have renamed all the buildings that constitute Amazon’s Seattle campus “re:Invent.” Remote work will increase dramatically due to the fact that nobody can find their offices anymore. Andy Jassy will awaken one morning to discover his middle name is now “Corey.” A Quinnipiac poll will show Jassy’s popularity surging wildly among every demographic; he’ll begin to consider a run for office.
As you can see, the face of AWS will change dramatically when I take the helm as vice president and CMO. I know that I’ll Deliver Results like these — after all, I Am Right, A Lot.
I thank you for taking the time to read this very public cover letter and look forward to hearing back from your team regarding next steps.
Snuggles and Rainbows, Corey Quinn
P.S. Please consider the environment before tattooing this letter upon your torso.