Innovation Inc: How the 'Amazon effect' has reached the Washington Post

The "Amazon effect" is no longer segmented to the retail industry. 

The disruption the e-commerce giant caused in the sector is now reflective of the change happening across industries, with many companies using Amazon as a model for how to pursue digital transformation. 

Washington Post's chief information officer Shailesh Prakash is in the fortunate position to get to work closely with Jeff Bezos — both at the news outlet the Amazon founder bought in 2013, as well as space exploration startup Blue Origin. 

Prakash gave Business Insider an exclusive look at the work underway at the Post to bring the 142-year-old news institution into the digital age — from robots writing news stories to running simulated crashes to make sure the website can handle a major influx of traffic. 

But it's not all IT changes. Bezos also initiated a change in metrics to determine bonuses and compensation among the leadership team. Now, execs are judged on speed, as well as less tangible qualities, like a willingness to take risks and a commitment to following through on decisions.

"These sound like cliches," said Prakash. "But these are the things that, when you put them in action and you truly try to live with them, it begins to spread in the company."

Below are a few other stories that you may have missed from the last two weeks. As always: If you're interested in receiving this biweekly newsletter and other updates from our ongoing Innovation Inc. series, please be sure to sign up here.

  • The president of banking software firm Temenos explains how allowing customers to use multiple clouds has been a key driver of its success
  • Walmart is trying to rival Amazon in digital advertising — here's what recent job postings say about its plan to use advanced tech in its ad push
  • The pandemic is permanently changing fast food as Wendy's, Burger King, and Chipotle double down on high-tech drive-thrus
  • Google Cloud's recent hire is the latest sign that the cloud giants are betting on the manufacturing industry
  • RBC Capital Markets built an in-house AI platform to give its clients more control over their trading and the next big test is the 2020 presidential election
  • How $21 billion industrial tech giant Fortive is exploring a new way to speed up innovation
  • Merck and Accenture explain why they decided to become two of Honeywell's first quantum computing partners, even though the technology isn't ready for 'prime-time production use just yet'

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