Read Jeff Bezos' first-ever annual shareholder letter 1997 here.
The Value of Shareholder Letters
When investors, business leaders, and the intellectually curious think about shareholder letters, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway letters are top of mind. A Google search for the "best shareholder letters" returns a similar result. The value of these letters doesn’t seem to be reliant on being the richest man in the world, given the neglect of Bill Gates’ Microsoft letters.
It is most definitely a mix of factors that make a shareholder letter worth reading, and the best can be considered similar to a masterclass in business from those who can simultaneously think and execute. Arguably, the best shareholder letters will teach more than 80% of business books.
It’s such views into the strategic decision-making process that Jeff Bezos shares in his letters that make them valuable tools to understand the growth of Amazon. It may be no surprise, then, that Bezos’ letters were published as part of Lawrence Cunningham’s Dear Shareholder book in 2020 along with Warren Buffett's.