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4 years. During school times that’s the equivalent of getting a degree. 4 years of high school – high school diploma. 4 years of college – bachelors degree. Now, I’ve completed my 4 years of Amazon – my own degree of craftsmanship.

When I joined, the digital music division of Amazon in SF, it was about 15 people. It was actually called A2Z Development center then, and we couldn’t sport the official Amazon name. At least not until Amazon started collecting taxes in CA that is.

Now that I’m leaving, it’s I think around 250. Tremendous growth – obviously meaning a lot of investment from Seattle – and during it all we launched a plethora of products. I experienced a lot, but now it’s more akin to Amazon proper (Seattle) than the ‘little SF office that could.’ So I’ve bid ado to my friends there, and very excitedly head back to a small environment with the startup Jut.

I’ll be making some posts on products I helped launch. I’ll probably keep the posts pretty dry because Amazon is kind of draconian on their information sharing, but it’s always nice to share accomplishments of work past, so that’s what I plan on doing.

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20 minutes or so on why I am 4 Barack a video by Lawrence Lessig on why he’s for Barack Obama. Myself, I’m an independent, so I’ve never liked the idea of jumping on either the Democrat or Republican bandwagon, but Barack has this pull that I can’t seem to deny, and Lessig describes it perfectly, and I wasn’t sure I was really 100% for Barack until he put my own thoughts into words that I myself could understand.

The key of it all, Barack truly inspires where Clinton and others only talk about inspiring, and the only reason they can get away with such a message is because Barack’s message is rubbing off on them. If he can drive the messages of “more veteran, seasoned” candidates on both sides, then he’s most certainly at their levels, if not way beyond.

Watch the video for a much better explanation by the always well spoken Lessig.

Going outside the expected, trying different techniques, doing something different. This is what breaking rules is all about. Rebelling is fun and all, but there’s a purpose to it none the less. It’s about achieving different (hopefully better) results.

This is highlighted perfectly in a couple of Seth Godin’s latest posts about reorganizing retail space for better profit. It sounded like a decent idea as he’d written it on his blog. To him, it was a new untested idea, but it seemed obvious in the day and age of the internet.

His readers sent him email with their own thoughts and experiences. Apparently, most of them disagreed with him. Of course, those were the one’s who’d not done it. Guess who agreed with him? The one who didn’t spout off the assumed rules of business. The ones that got different results. Better results even.

Still, you can’t get better results if you aren’t willing to fail. If you keep following, if you keep copying the other guys, you’ll always be that person following the crowd. People don’t buy from followers, though. They camp outside stores days in advance to buy iPhones. Make your own rules. It won’t always work, but failure is essential to growth and progress.