What Jeff Bezos taught me about growth

I’m always reading or listening to podcasts, because it’s important to me to continue to learn and keep up to date with what’s going on around us, but I also find it useful to consider things from another person’s perspective.

One podcast I listen to regularly is Sangram Vajre’s “#FlipMyFunnel”and during a recent one I came across Jeff Bezos shareholder letters.

After listening to the podcast I searched for more information on Jeff and his letters, and I came across his “day one letter” which was his first letter as a CEO from 1997.

Now before you read it, which I recommend you do, you need to consider that during the same time the letter was written, Amazon had just launched as an online bookseller, and many people weren’t convinced it would last. But Jeff had other ideas, and wrote to shareholders explaining Amazon’s philosophy which has stood the test of time since 1997, as now Amazon’s stock share price has risen from $5 per share to around $1,800 per share. 

So, here are some key takeaways I took from his letter.  

Focus and think ahead

What stood out instantly for me was how “ahead” his thinking was at the time.

In 1997, he was already talking about personalisation, creating real value for customers and online commerce which in 2019 is what we have come to expect as the norm not only from Amazon, but from all online retailers.

Long-term

"Think long-term and don't sacrifice its value for short-term results."

Jeff views decision making as a long-term view which focuses on market leadership. This approach allows him to be experimental and eludes to the acceptance of short-term failures for long-terms gains. This suggests that yes, it’s ok to fail, as long as you learn from it because not every innovation will work. In a nutshell, this is saying that it takes time to build sustainable, long-term value.

Customer obsession

“Proactively delighting customers earns trust, which earns more business from those customers, even in new business arenas. Take a long-term view, and the interests of customers and shareholders align.”

This is one of Amazon’s key values and looks at customer obsession rather than competition, product or technology obsession. So why is this important? Well, if you look at how Amazon has developed and grown so rapidly over the years, you’ll see that it has taken a customer-centric approach.

And what’s the one thing all customers have in common? They are never truly happy and they’re always wanting more. Customers have a desire and it’s your job to fulfil the desire, delight them, drive intent and give them the “new”, “latest” thing. 

By adopting a “customer-obsessed” culture you’ll be able to experiment patiently, accept failures and learn from them.

 

“A remarkable customer experience starts with the heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, taste. You won’t find any of it in a survey.”

What Jeff Bezos taught me about growth

Well he is the richest man on the planet by turning Amazon into the world’s largest online retailer. But, this came with the right mindset. It’s clear he had a vision, a  strategy and solid foundation to build upon. 

This is what he has taught me about growth. Whether you are a start up, author or an athlete, a strategy and a laser focused strategic mindset are essential, because for me without one, what exactly are you doing? It’s often the case, but people are more likely to be reactive rather than strategic, and that’s no crisitism, it's just they was it is, we are human after all. If you want growth be it in business or personal life, have a plan, have the right mindset which will allow you give it the time, effort and passion needed, be patient, stay focused on your end goal and most of all love it!

To find out more, please email me at [email protected] or call a member of the team on 01926422002 to discuss.

Sud Kumar

Marketing Director

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