“I knew if I failed I would not regret that, but one thing I would regret is not trying” Jeff Bezos.
Last week, the world went into “who is Jeff Bezos” mode after he assisted bill gates hold onto the world’s richest man title for half a day.
Jeff Bezos is the Chairman, MD & CEO of Amazon, the biggest and most valuable online retail outlet in the world.
He is back to the number 2 spot in the world richest men list, but be cautioned he is no one hit wonder.
In 1995, he started online shopping in his garage. The internet was not so popular.
Walmart (America’s largest physical retail outlet) was the giant to beat. To them, Amazon was a joke that would fizzle away.
Today he is richer than Walmart and 5 of American’s largest retail outlets combined. Jeff Bezos ‘s Amazon is now the giant to beat.
Before we talk about his business codes; let’s meet Jeff Bezos:
He is a risk taker: This billionaire has the balls to take risk. He worked away from a well-paying job as a hedge fund manager to start selling online books in his garage. On his journey to build Amazon all he had was a love for playing with computer software and a 30% chance that his idea would work. He took the risk anyway. Today he is 80.9Billion dollars richer for it.
Quick and nimble yet calculated and slow: To stay on top, he believes Amazon should keep innovating and creating new things at a high speed. In his calm demeanor he takes a failure punch without incidence quickly moving to the next opportunity.
But at the same time he is a long term planner. He is focused and extremely calculative.
Calm & very soft spoken yet a dangerous competitor; Don’t be fooled by his gentle mien and soft exterior. He has crushed his competitors almost putting them out of business. When he became a threat to big retailers, they started fighting back.
He has been sued by Walmart, Barnes and Nobles, and other giant retailers for price crashing and business practices that were affecting them. He fought back calmly and ruthlessly
He finished off Barnes and Nobles by getting exclusive deals with some publishers. As a result, Barnes and Nobles had to take specific high demand books books off their shelves
He is frugal to the point of being stingy and keeps a really low profile
As at 1999 when he was named time magazine’s person of the year, He and his wife were driving basic cars and he paid himself a basic salary like the rest of his staff.
His employees in the warehouses were monitored by machines strapped to their body to calculate productivity before pay.
Among the tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon makes the more money but pays the least salary. He is also extremely low profile, you barely can find pictures of his family online.
He is a book worm;
Guys, this one is not one of your millionaire college dropouts. He is a graduate of computer science and engineering at the prestigious Princeton University, he reads a lot of books.
In senior executive Amazon meetings, before any conversation or discussion begins, everyone sits for 30 minutes in total silence, carefully reading six-page printed memos. Reading together in the meeting guarantees everyone’s undivided attention to the issues at hand.
Jeff Bezos business codes
Big things start small
Dear reader, you tell me, as a business principle would you reinvest millions of dollars in profit on a new business with lots of uncertainty or would you invest on your cash cow that brings in the profit.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos much to the dismay of his top executives sinks millions in dollars and brain power on his new innovations, that brings almost nothing to the table
Because In his words big things start small. He is so excited when a small project reaches specific miles stones even if it’s not yet profitable.
He gave the oak tree analysis. The biggest Oak starts from an acorn. You have to let that acorn grow into a
little sapling and finally a mature oak tree that lives for many years.
Jeff Bezos believes in a gradual progression. In his words Put 0ne foot in front of the other; one step at a time. Doubling down on one win and moving for the next.
But take those steps with ferocity and passion
Customer obsession as opposed to competitor obsession.
“Customer obsession is not just about listening to customers but inventing on their behalf” Jeff Bezos.
Jeff Bezos has emphasized repeatedly that his business model is all about pleasing the customer even at the expense of profitability.
To this end he created a Method called Jeff B escalation; a one on one with his customers to get to the heart of what they really want.
In his words, customers are always dissatisfied, they always want more. They are constantly pulling you, nudging you and showing you how to please them. and Amazon listened and innovated.
They wanted the cheapest product (Amazon was affordable)
They wanted to avoid long queues in shopping malls ; ( Amazon go was created)
They paid too much for shipping (He created Amazon prime.)
You have to lean into the future or the future would end you
As business people, we always need lean into the future, the world could change around you and against you. “Jeff Bezos”
Jeff Bezos has trained his team to be futuristic and forward thinking. He and his team had looked to the future and collectively agreed that the biggest threat to Amazon books was electronic books. Electronic books could kill sale of paper books. Jeff Bezos decided to be his own competitor.that’s how Kindle was born.
Nine years after Kindle was launched Kindle books sell more than physical ones.
He sat with his team on the future of delivery. Amazon quickly launched a drone delivery service.
Customer wanted a quicker way of doing things: Amazon Echo was born. (Also here read the Amazon echo)
It’s very important for people to take bold bets
In 1994 he realized the internet was growing at 2300% year. He decided to start an online store selling books. Jeff Bezos had no idea if it would work, but there was a 30% chance. He resigned from his job and took the risk anyway.
In his words, it takes Experiments to be innovative, to forge a new cause and experiments are by their very nature prone to failure.
I have made millions and millions of dollars in failure at Amazon one failed idea after another as executives on his team secretly tally his mistakes on a whiteboard.
Undaunted, he somehow patches up and continues to innovate he then prevails by bringing out the next big product making billions of dollars
It’s ok to fail; here are some of Amazon’s biggest failure: Amazon Fire phone. Amazon Destinations Amazon wallet, Amazon auction (just to name a few)
Long term approach to making profit…
From the start, he was in it for the long haul. He focused more on pleasing consumers, innovating and less on making profit
In his words; the long-term approach is rare. Most companies want to see a return on investment in, you know, one, two, three years. … I’m willing to give it five, six or seven years.
By 1998, 3 years after starting Amazon, more companies joined the internet business hoping to cash out quickly from the internet boom.
But Keeping true to the rabbit -and-tortoise tale, Amazon went six years from its launch in 1995 before it finally reached profitability in the fourth quarter of 2001.
As for many of the other dot-com companies, they crashed out of the race and never saw the finish line.
Jeff Bezos is blissfully married with four kids.
In conclusion, I find Jeff Bezos to particularly complex; nice and soft, yet a bull in the competitive space. Considerate to a fault of customers, tight fisted with staff. Quick to innovate and expand, slow to profit,
Hope you are inspired, I am.