BUSINESS TIPS

White Papers At Amazon

How to write a professional business document the Amazon way, in the form of a six-pager, and why this is so important

Andrea Marchiotto
10 min readOct 28, 2019

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I wrote more business documents at Amazon than in my entire career. With an average of one six-page document per week during key peaks (roughly six months per year), for six consecutive years, I think I produced roughly 140/150 white papers. Nevertheless, I can definitely say I am a master of… not really understanding how to write a good one yet! :-D. It’s so damn difficult, and it takes a lot of time. But it’s worth it. I promise you that. Discover why and how by reading this beautiful and useful piece of art(icle).

Dear reader,

With this article on how to write a white paper, the Amazon way, I am sharing some techniques and personal recommendations that could help you create better business documents and make sure your meeting is efficient and on point. I hope you enjoy it.

Note. The ideal complement to this article is: how to write a press release (the Amazon way).

What is a white paper?

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s phylosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.[1]

According to Wikipedia, there are three main types of business white papers:

  • Backgrounder: Describes the technical or business benefits of a certain vendor’s offering; either a product, service, or methodology. This type of white paper is best used to supplement a product launch, argue a business case, or support a technical evaluation at the bottom of the sales funnel
  • Numbered list: Presents a set of tips, questions, or points about a certain business issue. This type is best used to get attention with new or provocative views, or cast aspersions on competitors
  • Problem/solution: Recommends a new, improved solution to a nagging business problem. This type is best used to generate leads at the top of the sales funnel, build mind share, or inform and persuade stakeholders, building trust and credibility in the subject

Wikipedia also mentions that there are several variations on the color theme exist. For example, a green paper would be a proposal or consultative document rather than being authoritative or final; a blue paper is used for technical specifications of a technology and a yellow paper would be a document containing research that has not yet been formally accepted or published in an academic journal.

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Andrea Marchiotto

Web3 enthusiast, passionate about eCommerce, new business models, and generative art. Support cool stuff: https://andreamarchiotto.medium.com/membership