One could say Jeff Bezos is a pretty successful entrepreneur. In hindsight, though, one might think that his success and the success of Amazon was inevitable, given the way the market is now. Honestly that wasn’t always the case. Especially in the early days. Bezos experienced the pitfalls and setbacks that many, if not almost all, entrepreneurs face along the journey.
One important thing to keep in mind is when Bezos started out wanting to start an internet business, the internet wasn’t what it is today. First of all, only about one-third of the people who have computers in their homes today had them when Bezon began. Also, the internet was still dial-up. Ecommerce wasn’t even a term yet. So, convincing people to get online and make purchases was a huge feat.
How did he do it? Some say luck, some say intuition. These factors may have played some part. However when we take a look at the principles and mindset Bezos followed, the real power is unveiled.
Here are 5 principles we can learn from Jeff Bezos
Develop A Jeff Bezos Style Obsession For Taking Care Of Customers
In a 2018 interview at the Economic Club of Washington D.C., Bezos told David Rubenstein, “The secret sauce of Amazon–there are several principles at Amazon–but the number one thing that has made us successful, by far, is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer.”
Bezos wasn’t just giving lip-service. His vision was to create a company and culture whose main focus was the customer. He wanted a company that customers chased after to be a part of. And he succeeded in doing just that.
In the early days, everytime a new product was released, Bezos demanded a six page memo that included a press release. It was Bezos’ belief that by writing the press release, the team would have to seriously think and examine the product.
Think Long Term
So many entrepreneurs begin to feel all is lost if they have a bad quarter. They want to be big, stable, and highly profitable immediately. Bezos took the opposite approach. In fact, having a look at the early days of the Prime membership, at the time it wasn’t worth it for Amazon to offer it.
But Bezos’ plan was to build an offer that would seem almost ridiculous to not take advantage of. Even at the cost of losing a little revenue in the process. Over the long term, it has proven to be highly profitable.
Don’t be afraid to take a little loss in the beginning if you believe you’re really onto something. Nurture it and care for it. From the little acorn comes a mighty oak tree.
Focus on Your Customer, Not Your Competition
Your competition isn’t buying your products or services. That’s what your customers do. Furthermore, your customers are the ones who are trading their hard earned cash for what you’re offering. Sure, keep an eye on the competition, but by truly listening and taking care of your customers you’ll create loyalty.
Do you think Amazon sees any of its competitors as a threat? How about their customer base?
Regret Minimization Framework
This is a technique Bezos has talked about quite a bit. We all spend time thinking and mulling over mistakes in the past. Realizing what we could have or even should have done differently. “If I knew then what I know now…” we say to ourselves.
Regret Minimization Framework works in the opposite. This technique suggests we propel ourselves into the future to when we are,say, 85 years old. Then have a look back at the actions and decisions we are making now. Ask yourself, “Am I going to regret this decision?”
Let your future self guide you.
Give Your Staff A Mission Like Jeff Bezos Did
The people who work for you and your company can go in two different directions. Either into complete loyalty or out the door. Bezos once asked rhetorically how can you hire and keep great people. He answered himself:
“By giving them, first of all, a great mission—something that has real purpose, that has meaning.”
In the beginning as Amazon began to skyrocket, there were endless shift, extreme working conditions, and employees were pushed to unimaginable limits. But they were on a mission. They made it through and came out on the other side refined and polished.