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HomeTechWatch: Why Jeff Bezos 'banned' Microsoft PowerPoint in Amazon

Watch: Why Jeff Bezos ‘banned’ Microsoft PowerPoint in Amazon

A video of

Amazon

founder

Jeff Bezos

has resurfaced on social media. This old video from where the e-commerce major’s former CEO was seen discussing a rule that he once executed while leading the company. In this video, Bezos was seen discussing the reason for banning the use of

Microsoft PowerPoint

in company meetings. The video was shared by a LinkedIn user Daniel Abrahams that also revealed Bezos’ preference for

memos

over traditional presentations.

The LinkedIn post received over 3,500 likes within a day and has also gathered several comments from users. While some users were impressed, others seemed sceptical of this approach.
Recently, Amazon announced that it will lay off nearly 5% of its workforce at its Buy with Prime unit. Apart from this, the company also announced job cuts plans for hundreds of employees at Twitch, Prime Video, Audible and MGM Studios.

What Jeff Bezos has to say about PowerPoint presentations

In the video, Bezos said: “Just like high school kids, executives will bluff their way through the meeting as if they’ve read the memo. Because we’re busy. And so you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read… And then everybody has actually read the memo. They’re not just pretending to have read the memo.”

In 2004, Bezos also sent an email to its employees (seen by Business Insider) to explain why they shouldn’t use Microsoft PowerPoint. The letter read: “Well structured, narrative text is what we’re after rather than just text. If someone builds a list of bullet points in word, that would be just as bad as powerpoint.
The reason writing a 4 page memo is harder than ‘writing’ a 20 page powerpoint is because the narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of what’s more important than what, and how things are related.

Powerpoint-style presentations somehow give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas.”

What users had to say

One of the user wrote: “Nice process. Need not worry about allocating a separate time to read the document. And when everyone will do it at the same time, it will be definitely less boring.”
Meanwhile, another user said: “This sounds insane. There are plenty of methods to ensure productive meetings other than forcing management to sit quietly and read.”
While another user mentioned, “The lack of trust here is notable. This approach is controlling and assumes everyone absorbs information at the time and pace that’s optimal for the leader. If they are not managing their time well, fix that.”
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