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Andy Jassy’s 10 Boldest Statements At AWS re:Invent 2020

Donna Goodison

‘If you look in the enterprise technology space, there are some providers who are competitor-focused,’ Jassy said. ‘They look at what their competitors are doing, and they try to fast-follow and one-up them. We have a competitor like that across the lake from us here in Washington.’

Constant reinvention is the key to building a long-term, sustainable business, and organizations should be reinventing while they’re healthy and developing products and services that solve customer problems, not for their coolness factor, according to Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy.

“You want to be reinventing all the time,” Jassy said in his keynote address for the start of the AWS re:Invent 2020 conference today. “Some of it is building the right reinvention culture, and some of it is knowing what technology is available to you and jumping on it to make that reinvention happen.”

Livestreaming from Seattle, Jassy took the stage to open the ninth annual AWS partner and customer conference – the first to be held virtually – to share his cloud computing insights and how AWS is reinventing cloud technologies.

A big takeaway from Jassy’s keynote address is that digital transformation is mostly about leadership, not about technology, according to Mike Kavis, chief cloud architect for Deloitte Consulting.

“Jassy pounded home the need to address culture, focus on customers, reduce complexity and the importance of speed,” Kavis said.

Jassy also defended AWS’ slowing growth rate compared to other cloud providers, noting that year-over-year growth only matters as it relates to a company’s base revenue. AWS posted revenue of $11.6 billion for the latest quarter that ended Sept. 30 – up 29 percent year over year for a $46.4 billion annual revenue run rate. That growth rate mirrored AWS’ results from the previous quarter, when it dropped below 30 percent for the first time since parent company Amazon started breaking out its cloud financials in April of 2015.

“You can have a higher year-over-year growth rate but be growing at a much lower absolute rate if you have a much lower base of revenue,” Jassy said. “To grow to a $46 billion dollar revenue run rate with 29 percent year-over-year growth meant we had to grow an incremental $10 billion in the last 12 months to get there. That is much larger than you’ll see elsewhere in the cloud”

While it took AWS just more than 10 years to grow to a $10 billion business, it took only 23 months to then grow to $20 billion in revenue, 13 months to move to $30 billion and just 12 months to get to $40 billion, according to Jassy.

“So the rate of growth at AWS continues to accelerate,” he said.

Here’s a look at some of Jassy’s boldest statements during his keynote address for what will be a three-week re:Invent experience this year.

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