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In early 2014, Jon Norwood and his team used cameras and scanners to reinvent the way boxes of products get checked in at Amazon facilities. "We built all the technology in 20 weeks," he says. "We rolled it out everywhere over the year." Then they celebrated. "For a day, the entire team that worked on it just sat down and watched this wall of monitors with millions of packages going through. We watched the fruit of our labor just do its thing. It was glorious. The sheer high of delivering some of these crazy projects is always amazing. It's that true sense of community that you get being in the trenches and doing stuff."
Jon is the first to admit that it took him longer than it should have to realize the caliber of people he was getting to work with. "When I joined Amazon eight years ago, I thought that there was a good chance I would be the expert in the room or the smartest person in the room," he says with a laugh. "I had a big ego. But there are so many examples where I've just been absolutely humbled by what people can do. You get very comfortable not being the smartest person in the room, not being anywhere close to it, embracing that these are the experts in their field and that you need to listen to what they're saying. "
Jon adds, "I think the people that end up doing well here are just generally passionate about being owners of their space and making the world a better place. Amazon gives you lots of autonomy and authority to go and do these things that you couldn't do at other places. That's why I'm still here. "
We're a company of pioneers. It's our job to make bold bets, and we get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers. Success is measured against the possible, not the probable. For today’s pioneers, that’s exactly why there’s no place on Earth they’d rather build than Amazon.