The first item that shipped via Prime Air, Amazon's drone delivery system, was a Kindle. Team leaders Gur Kimchi and Daniel Buchmueller chose it for its compact size, but the symbolism in this test flight was clear: If the Kindle revolutionized Amazon's business by enabling the company to deliver good digitally, Prime air could bring the same level of instant gratification to the physical world. In December, Amazon unveiled Prime Air on 60 minutes, wowing viewers with its portrayal of a future where unmanned aerial vehicles zip around the sky ferrying parcels to your door in 30 minutes. Right now, the system isn't ready for market, and some have called it a PR stunt, considering the questions left unanswered: How would drones deliver big cities or bad weather? But Kimchi and Buchmueller say it demonstrates Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's appetite for bold bets. "The culture here allows you to be creative without being constrained by what's possible," Kimchi says. "For every project like Prime Air that you know about, we probably have 100 more that you don't".
By Austin Carr
Fast Company, June 2014