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Episode from the podcastDiana Kander: Professional AF

S3 | E8: After Action Review - The Amazon Fire Phone with Ian Freed

Released Tuesday, 24th November 2020
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The Fire Phone is widely regarded as one of Amazon’s biggest failures. The phone sold what industry experts estimated to be 35,000 units in its first 25 days and they reportedly wrote off $170 million loss due to the phone’s failure in its first year.

This episode is an interview with Ian Freed, the product owner of the fire phone, who took it from inception to product launch. 

At Amazon, Ian was a Vice President and served as Technology Adviser to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos from 2004-2005. He led the Amazon Kindle business including business strategy, product development, business development, and marketing from 2006 until 2010. Additionally, Ian led the Amazon Echo/Alexa business from inception in 2011 through first product release in 2015. From 2016-2017, Ian led consumer services including Amazon Restaurants - a one-hour food delivery service from local restaurants in 25 cities.

In 2018 Ian took his Amazon learnings and launched Bamboo learning - focused on developing breakthrough at home learning experiences for children and families

Ian and I are going to discuss:
  • What happened to the Amazon Fire phone – where it went wrong and why they didn't create a version 2
  • How Jeff Bezos makes failure ok and his favorite story to tell to reinforce this point
  • How Amazon decides which products are good but not good enough
  • The advice Jeff Bezos gave to Ian after the Fire phone failure
Thanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!