Wisdom from Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, has always been something of a maverick among successful businessmen.  I have a lot of respect for him.  He started a business with and from nothing, and has built it into what is today one of the most successful operations of its kind in the world.  A lot of people are envious and/or jealous and/or afraid of his success, and try to tear him down at any and every opportunity, but he keeps right on truckin’ and doing what he does best.

Two articles have just been published containing his quotes and observations.  They’re excellent food for thought.  The first is ‘The 20 Smartest Things Jeff Bezos Has Ever Said‘, at The Motley Fool.  Here’s an excerpt.

1. “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.”

4. “If you only do things where you know the answer in advance, your company goes away.”

5. “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

9. “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

12. “We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent.”

There’s more at the link.

The second article, at Geekwire, is about an interview with Mr. Bezos:  ‘Jeff Bezos explains why Amazon doesn’t really care about its competitors‘.

“If you have a customer-centric culture, that cures a lot of ills … Let’s say you’re the leader in a particular arena, if you’re competitor-focused and you’re already the leader, then where does your energy come from? Whereas, if you’re customer focused, and you’re already the leader, customers are never satisfied.”

He continues, “If you’re customer-focused, you’re always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow? We want to impress our customers — we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.”

. . .

“I don’t think that you can invent on behalf of customers unless you’re willing to think long-term, because a lot of invention doesn’t work. If you’re going to invent, it means you’re going to experiment, and if you’re going to experiment, you’re going to fail, and if you’re going to fail, you have to think long term.”

Again, more at the link, including the full 22-minute televised interview.

Both articles are highly recommended reading, particularly for those working in the business world, or who are (like me) self-employed or wanting to be that way.


1 comment

  1. I was really disappointed in amazon only three times, and I think part of those vendor/buyer disasters were my fault, because I wasn't on top of the buys, so I lost, with no recourse. I couldn't believe my most recent "buy", which went sour. Amazon has somehow created a system whereby they can actually track if the seller does/doesn't send the "shipped" notice on time. After a couple of months my sale was voided and no money exchanged.
    But, I still do not buy anything shipped from CA, even though I live here, because of our State's corrupt budget shenanigans, and I was really sorry to see amazon build a facility near me. The State and amazon will make out like bandits, the customers and vendors lose. Hey, that's business, I suppose.

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