It’s the roaring 90’s.
The era of out of the box fashion paired with some of the most iconic music the world has ever heard. But something else is cooking too. Right in the middle of the decade, one man is crafting in his mind, something that will revolutionize the trading world forever. That’s right. We’re talking about the infamous Jeff Bezos and his brain baby, Amazon. Initially, it wasn’t called Amazon, but instead, Jeff Bezos called it “Everything Store”, a place where people to get everything they could ever need with the help of the internet. Although, the internet of then and the internet of now are leagues apart. Back then, we had only explored a pea-sized amount of what the internet was really capable of.
Fast forward 20 years, and you have Amazon. Amazon.com Inc. is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, along with Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Today, Amazon makes over billions of dollars in business and has become a behemoth of an e-commerce website. Although it is still not available in a lot of countries, they are slowly making progress. All the effort and resources poured down on the project that started off in a garage has paid off tenfold.
Now, there are some key ideas that Amazon followed since 1997, and Jeff Bezos still is faithful to those very teachings to date. With all the new forms of technology and its advancements, Amazon has been able to keep up with it all while all still paying attention to its main concern, the consumers.
So, what is the secret behind Jeff Bezos’s extreme success, you may ask? Of course, the answer is not simple but can be explored nonetheless. Thus, today we bring you some of the key things we can learn from Bezos and some teachings he has offered over the years.
Customers are royalty
This may come as no surprise, but Jeff Bezos has repeatedly talked about the importance of customers in his business or in any business for that matter. A customer is basically what is running your firm. If you treat them like royalty, you might end up getting their loyalty. A loyal and dedicated customer base is what helps a company grow and prosper, and the same idea goes for Amazon.
Jeff Bezos has preached and practiced frugality from the beginning of his business adventures. Conservation is primarily the act of being economical. Now a very famous scene is where Jeff Bezos is seen to be sitting in his office with his door desk. Back then, doors were cheaper than desks, but by then, Amazon was already successful. So why not just get a proper office you might say? But that’s where Bezos’s different approach comes along. “Accomplish more with less,” Bezos says. Why fix something that isn’t broke or why spend money is you don’t have to. Even though the door desk is more symbolic than practical to Jeff Bezos, the core teaching behind remains the same.
Be Willing to Invent and to Take Risks
This is constant for all businesses, but the magnitude differs all. If you want your company to prosper, you need to give not only your time and effort but also innovation. To stay up to date and to be relevant, you need to invent within your company and invest in innovation too. It’s all risky business, but to grow and prosper, you need to explore what is new. Even so, the creator of Amazon always says that without risks, you will never know what you are capable of, and we agree entirely. Unless you put yourself out there and expose yourself, you’ll never really know how far you can go in terms of your company. By taking risks, you are not only understanding the playing field, but you are also being able to understand your weaknesses and where you can grow further.
Surround Yourself with the Best Team
Amazon has an infamously lengthy hiring process. Potential employees can expect to submit SAT scores and answer questions such as, “How many gas stations are there in the U.S.?” The answer isn’t supposed to be correct, rather it’s intended to activate critical thinking skills. “Every time we hire someone, he or she should raise the bar for the next hire, so that the overall talent pool is always improving,” Bezos says. From this, we can take away that with a good team, you can be literally anywhere on the corporate ladder. Thus, maybe some investing in the whole HR process can help you reach that dream team of employees who will forever be an asset to your company.
Get used to Criticism
The man who made Amazon is bound to have been subject to a lot of criticism and commentary. And that was the case for Jeff Bezos. However, he has always said that the based way to handle naysayers is to accept it, don’t fight it. A fitting remark on this topic by the man himself was, “One thing that I tell people is, if you’re going to do anything new or innovative, you have to be willing to be misunderstood. If you cannot afford to be misunderstood, then for goodness’ sake, don’t do anything new or innovative.” Hence, if you are thinking about starting and business and about being successful you better have a lot of patience, tolerance, and also acceptance from what other people will have to say about you.
Take Time to be Inefficient
Amazon is all about efficiency, but Bezos says to make time to be inefficient? Kind of an oxymoron doesn’t you think. And yes you are right, these notions do contradict with each other but there is a lot of wisdom behind why Jeff Bezos says to make leeway for inefficiency. “From very early on in Amazon’s life, we knew we wanted to create a culture of builders — people who are curious, explorers. They like to invent,” said Bezos. Once you allow your team to be loose and to be creative, that’s when they will truly think outside the box. He believes that it is the inefficient times that truly produce the next big thing. So try to give your staff the space to be boundless and to explore their ideas and to come up with something innovative.
Be Stable and Elastic Simultaneously
“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon,” said Bezos. “And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” Pretty straightforward don’t you think? Basically, when you need to take lead and be firm with your decision you should do so but sometimes you may need to unfasten yourself and be flexible as well. Understanding when doing to what is key in being a good entrepreneur. The main focus is to never lose sight of your vision and to do what is necessary at different points of time to achieve your vision.
Learn from Your Mistakes While Making Your Own Rules
Everything has a learning curve, and the same goes for entrepreneurs. It’s a whole procedure that you need to get acquainted with and to adapt yourself too. Along the way, there are certain to be hurdles and mistakes on your end but that doesn’t mean you stop. Jeff Bezos emphasizes that once you’re shot down, you need to do everything to pull yourself back up. This also pairs with how you handle the problems you face and how you can make up your own rules as you go. Your own niche book of rules that are tailored to fit your company.
And there you have it. A small list of tips and tricks practiced by the master himself, Jeff Bezos. However, always bear in mind that all businesses are different, and it’s true that what may have worked for Amazon may not apply to you.
Even so, remember that with persistence and hard work, anyone can achieve almost everything. So good luck with your business endeavors!