Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is notorious for always putting the customers first. It’s why he makes himself easily accessible by making his email address, [email protected], publicly available.
Backed by this customer-centric thinking, Amazon has grown into the largest e-commerce company in the world.
Now, Bezos wants to bring his customer-first management style to The Washington Post, the daily news publication he personally bought for $250 million in 2013.
On Monday, the WSJ published a feature on Bezos that opens with an anecdote that gives a glimpse into the way he’s changing the Post’s culture.
Bezos apparently once received an email from a Post reader complaining about the slow loading time of its app. He immediately forwarded the email to Shailesh Prakash, the Post’s CIO.
Prakash looked at the problem and told Bezos he could improve the load time to “maybe two seconds.”
Bezos didn’t accept that answer.
“It needs to be milliseconds,” Bezos wrote back, according to the report.
Bezos later suggested using low-resolution images first in the app to speed up its loading time, and the problem seems to be solved now.
“His focus on customer experience has become a near mandate within the news operation,” the WSJ wrote.
And perhaps because of its increased attention to customer support, the Post is growing very fast. It was reported in October that the Post beat the New York Times in unique visitors for the first time. And last month, it recorded 71.6 million uniques, almost a 3X jump from two years ago, when Bezos bought the company.
The Washington Post website now sees 1,200 articles a day on average, and has become one of the leading publishers on emerging news platforms, like Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, the WSJ report added.
Now, the Post is trying to emulate another part of Amazon that made it so successful: data-driven culture. The WSJ article says it already has a data analytics board at the center of the newsroom, and soon, reporters will get access to it on their individual computers as well.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.