Amazon Six Pager

The Amazon Six Pager goes way beyond just a future press release as described in Working Backwards. It’s more like a full-blown business plan for a major new initiative to be addressed inside an existing business. The idea is to craft an extensive description of a new product idea in exactly 6 pages (plus appendices that might contain additional data, statistics, etc.). And this document shall be a narrative. No visuals, no charts, and no slides – as if the writer were on stage and giving a speech without any visual aids. Just the speaker and her voice in order to tell a convincing story. Of course, the final Six Pager is only the result of significant effort. It might easily take 1 or 2 full weeks to write it, to discuss aspects with colleagues and team members, and to revise aspects.

A six pager is when you distill the most important ideas of your hundred pager, and cut the clutter. It mandates that you utilize real estate for the most important ideas you would like to convey.
To a reader, a six pages adds the perception of a well thought of document with thought-through ideas which creates much less inertia than when served a binder with a hundred pages.

For details, see references below but in a nutshell, the Six Pager should contain:
  • the introduction stating the intention of that initiative
  • a list of goals that will be used to measure success
  • long-term objectives, or North Star, that this initiative leads to
  • a description of the status quo of the business with enough detail such that later changes can be compared against the current state
  • actions, or strategic intents, as Melissa Perri would call them, so an execution strategy with priorities that, finally, target the goals mentioned before.

Further Reading

Writing An Effective Six-Pager Product Document

Effective Documentation Strategy for Product Managers.

Aditi Priya | Product Coalition

The Anatomy of an Amazon 6-pager

A deep dive into writing detailed planning docs from one of the most successful companies in the world.

Jesse Freeman | Medium