Amazon has the power with one rumor about a new business effort to sink entire sectors of the market, far beyond the retail industry it has has already upended. It also may have the power of the word to finish off the era of Microsoft's corporate meeting monolith.
"We don't do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon."
That was among the kernels of Amazon wisdom in the closely watched letter to shareholders released by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Wednesday.
Powerpoint has always had its detractors, being compared by some to Soviet propaganda tools and even implicated in NASA's inability to figure out what went wrong in two Space Shuttle disasters, Columbia and Challenger. President Trump's Defense Secretary James Mattis once said "PowerPoint makes us stupid." So Bezos — and all the corporate cubicle drones — are not alone.
But PowerPoint has still held on in corporate meetings around the world that, in most cases, go on too long themselves. Microsoft has found itself challenged on many fronts in the office, from richly valued start-up Slack's rise as a challenger to email and Google Docs. And a few months ago when the Wall Street Journal ran a piece saying chief financial officers were instructing teams to stop using Excel, finance operations around the globe were rocked — as rocked as finance teams can get rocked.
What does Amazon do instead to share ideas and plan strategy? Read and write at length, according to Bezos.