Never Fall Into The Comfort Zone

Danny Choo is an entrepreneur in Japan. He once worked for Amazon Japan and Microsoft Japan. Now he worked for himself.

He recalled his years in Amazon and Microsoft (some interesting comparisons herein), then gave out his two cents which I will always remember.

Never let yourself get to comfortable and fall into the Comfort Zone as it can be difficult to get out.

Always have a grasp of your achievements and how much you want to grow within a company.

If you feel there is no more room to grow then it may be a prompt in life that there are no more pieces of your life jigsaw puzzle to be collected where you are – time to move on.


The following also from his article, is a quite significant suggestion. I should follow it someday.

Listed below are some of the stuff I got up to – plucked from¬†profile page¬†which is why it is written in CV lingo. Remember – if you don’t tell people your abilities, people are not going to guess. Letting people know of your abilities is crucial in a successful career. If you have a blog, make sure you have a profile page as it will open many doors for you as it has done for me ^o^

Responsibilities in this role included:

  • Responsible for the production team of about 30 heads (cant give exact number). The team comprised of Web Development, Quality Assurance, Design, Browse Development, Content Build and Deployment, Cross Site Editorial, Imaging, Program Management and Catalog Operations.
  • I was responsible for providing the optimum organizational structure, workloads, direction, hiring, firing, performance evaluation, and determined compensation / career advancement.
  • Lead development teams remotely across the globe to coordinate and deploy website features.
  • Responsible as a member of the senior management team in Japan to make critical decisions regarding company direction. Also was a member on interview loops for key members of staff including directors.
  • As a member of the senior management team, I would participate in top grading, promotion and organizational decisions.
  • Travel to each of our locales to meet with the other country website managers to discuss, plan and decide resource allocation, technological constraints / advancements that influence the following quarter’s website initiatives.
  • Worked with and have good working knowledge of all departments across all locales in Amazon including Vendor Management, Buying, Merchandising, Finance, Legal, Retail, Marketing, Web Services, Public Relations, Human Resources, Supply Chain / Operations, IT.
  • Responsible for onboard orientation for new key hires and constant education of website features, technology and processes for the business owners.
  • Present technology updates and QA sessions at the company all-hands each quarter.
  • Worked closely with Customer Service to understand the nature and cause of customer contact – allowing my team to keep their assigned contacts to a minimum.
  • Maintained excellent Service Level Agreements.
  • Maintained high morale and optimal working conditions for my team members.

Achievements in this role included:

  • Delivered the following major incremental features to the site.
    • Incremental product lines include: Video Games, Software, Gift, Marketplace, Consumer Electronics and Home&Kitchen.
    • Features include: My Store, Vodafone, Listmania, Wishlist, Cash On Delivery.
  • Implementation of Search Engine Optimization changes to all the Amazon retail sites resulting in incremental revenues of millions of US dollars.
  • Introduced procedures such as the Quarterly Planning Process which enabled the business to prioritize the most important feature rollout and projects – allowing my team to execute and deliver with minimal resources whilst minimizing the need to work overtime.
  • Executed new and innovative website features which have resulted in incremental revenues of millions of Japanese yen.
  • Implemented a vast array of user interface and usability changes to not only improve our customer’s online shopping experience but also to increase conversion.
  • Delivered’s first syndicated store for Virgin Mega Japan.
  • Through the introduction of technology, improvement processes and top grading, I kept headcount flat throughout the 3 years as website manager whilst continuing to deliver 100% of the projects and initiatives that were required for to meet each quarter’s financial targets.
  • Gained excellent working knowledge of Amazons proprietary database, catalog, content / software deployment systems and data processes.
  • Also gained excellent working knowledge of our online usability tests – this refers to the tests that we implement when launching incremental features online to a certain percent of users to establish how colors, element / widget positioning, number of clicks involved etc affect customer behavior and conversion.
  • Gained excellent working knowledge and concepts of email marketing, content management and online promotional management systems.

The End

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