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The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store
By Brad Stone October 10, 2013


Within Amazon.com (AMZN) there’s a certain type of e-mail that elicits waves of panic. It usually originates with an annoyed customer who complains to the company’s founder and chief executive officer. Jeff Bezos has a public e-mail address, jeff@amazon.com. Not only does he read many customer complaints, he forwards them to the relevant Amazon employees, with a one-character addition: a question mark.

TOEICでもおなじみのcustomer complaints(顧客の苦情)がBezosにとどくと「?」だけつけて担当社員に転送するというくだりが特集記事のキャッチに使われていました。ベゾスの場合は多忙なCEOなので「?」をつけて出しているだけなのでしょうが、「?」をつけて出すだけなのが世界最短の手紙と言われているようです。ユゴーがレミゼラブルの売れ行きを出版社に確認したときのやりとりがウィキペディアにありました。


The work was a great commercial success and has been a popular book ever since it was published. While exiled in England shortly after its publication, Hugo telegraphed his English publishers a one-character query: "?". Hurst & Blackett replied: "!".

英語版にはHugo telegraphedとありますから電報なんで短くしたという事情もあるかもしれません。


In the late 2000s, Competitive Intelligence began tracking a rival with an odd name and a strong rapport with female shoppers. Quidsi (Latin for “what if”) was a Jersey City company better known for its website Diapers.com. Grammar school friends Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara founded the startup in 2005 to allow sleep-deprived caregivers to painlessly schedule recurring shipments of vital supplies. By 2008 the company had expanded into selling baby wipes, infant formula, clothes, strollers, and other survival gear for new parents. In an October 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek cover story, the Quidsi founders admitted to studying Amazon closely and idolizing Bezos. In private conversations, they referred to Bezos as “sensei.”



• (martial arts) a Japanese title for a teacher, master or professional; in English used especially for a martial arts teacher


Used with masters of any profession. Teachers, scholars, etc. Can be added to the end of a name (usually the surname), or simply 'sensei' in replacement of any name at all. Not to be confused with someone who is of higher status than you in the school or workplace (-sempai).
Saitou-sensei, kono tegami o Eigo ni yakushite itadakitai desu. (Teacher/master, I would like you to translate this letter into English for me.)

この辺りの語感は想像するしかないんですが、martial artsとラベルがあったようにベストキッド(Karate Kid)のシーンみたいな感覚をsenseiに持っているのかもしれません。


Sensei- The Role of the Mentor…National Mentoring Month

Of course, to really talk the talk, you must walk the walk. In martial arts we call our mentors “Sensei.”
Most people think Sensei means “teacher.” Well, we use the title for our teachers but it means much more. You can read a book and teach- Sensei is the person who wrote the book; or he’s the guy the book is about!

Sensei literally means “one who has gone before.” The Sensei is the person who has walked the path you’re on now. He can lead without pushing and share from authentic experience and wisdom. Most of all, Sensei knows that your journey is your own. Sensei is going to teach, coach, advise and often correct- but never do the work for you.

A genuine Sensei knows that when people are pushed they in turn push back; when people are mentored by an authentic leader- they follow. He knows that all authentic leaders are teachers and that effective leadership is not a process of control, but one of sharing.

Most of all, a genuine Sensei understands that the measure of a great teacher is not one whose talents and abilities are superior to his students, but rather one who measures success only when his students’ talents and abilities surpass his own.

If you’re a mentor, shouldn’t you aspire to be like Sensei? If you’re looking for a mentor- isn’t this who you’re looking for?