Amazon's Growth: Efficient or not?
Revenue per employee trend over last 22 years
Welcome to another edition of Trendline, where I bring you data-driven insights, stories and visuals from the Tech and business world.
Today, we are looking at Amazon’s growth over the last 2 decades.
Lets dive in!
Chart of the Week
Amazon has been a monster business since its early days.
From 2000 to 2010, their revenue skyrocketed from $2.8B to $34.2B, with a 29% annual growth rate. During this period, their workforce expanded by only 14% each year, reaching 33,700 employees by 2010. It was efficient growth.
The following 12 years saw Amazon's revenue continue to compound - growing at 25% annually, amassing a colossal $514B by 2022.
But this time, their growth became less efficient.
Between 2010 and 2022, Amazon hired on avg. 125,600 people every year. A big chunk of those hires were for their fulfillment and logistics operations, which require a lot of good ol' manual labor (even with all the tech). About 73% of Amazon's 1.5 million people, now falls under the unskilled or semi-skilled category.
As a result, their revenue per employee dropped like a rock.
In 2010, they were making over a million dollars of revenue per employee but by 2022, it plummeted to only $333K. That's more in line with your regular old-school retailer like Walmart, not like its other big tech peers.
To put things in perspective, let's take a look at revenue per employee in 2022:
Apple: $2.4 million - Best in class in Tech
Google: $1.5 million - Not too shabby
Walmart: $0.3 million - Old school efficient
Amazon has been making some changes to get their act together. They've had sizeable layoffs and I expect their next phase of growth to be more efficient.
What kind of investor are you?
If you are reading this, chances are you (like me), love stocks and investing.
But do you know how to value companies so that you don’t overpay for stocks. Especially, how to have the right mindset, and techniques depending on whether its an Uber (unprofitable, high growth) or an Apple (hugely profitable, stable growth)
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Flex your skills by answering this week’s question. As always, answer in next email.
After Walmart and Amazon, who is the biggest employer among these?
Answer to last post’s business quiz question (see post):
Hungry still? Here are some more interesting data stories to whet your appetite:
FT just released data on 50 fastest growing private companies in Asia Pacific. Good hunting ground for entrepreneurs and investors (LINK)
AI is very exciting but also can get very confusing with so much happening. Here are 10 Charts to understand the state of AI in Investing / Entrepreneurship (LINK)
Who is the biggest AI startup after OpenAI? Bay Area times cover this story. You will have to subscribe to read* (LINK)
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! 👋
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