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Founded in 1994 in the garage of Bezos’ home, Amazon went from selling books in its website to shaping into one of the world’s largest eCommerce companies in the world. On September 2018, in its 24th year, Amazon crossed the hallowed US $1 trillion mark in terms of value.
The company has been going from strength to strength since the very beginning. It’s no wonder that entrepreneurs everywhere have been trying to figure out Amazon’s secret sauce. This question seems to be on every businesswoman’s and businessman’s mind, “how did it all come together for Jeff Bezos and how to make it all come together for my company?”
Well, we can’t really answer that question, only Jeff Bezos can. Luckily, Bezos has been known to share some of his business wisdom and often talks about the qualities that led to Amazon’s meteoric rise on the global stage.
Don’t Regret Anything:
Before Bezos founded Amazon, he enjoyed a senior and secure job working as a vice president at investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co. While it is quite a tough decision to leave a cushy job like that, Bezos said in an interview, “I knew that if I didn’t try this, I would regret it. And that would be inescapable.”
Starting a company based on the internet at a time when the future of the World Wide Web was uncertain is no small feat. Naming his way of thinking as a “regret minimization framework,” he stated that he thought about his future self and not wanting to regret anything in his life.
Innovation and Failure Is a Package That Comes Together – Accept Both:
As most companies usually do their very best to avoid failures of any kind, they also get dragged into a monotonous method of doing business. Doing the same kind of business for a long period of time can render any company irrelevant and obsolete. Jeff Bezos called this out in Amazon’s 2015 annual report, “Failure and invention are inseparable twins….to invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.”
Only if a company experiments can they achieve and realize the constantly evolving formula to success is nothing less than innovation. But that doesn’t mean reckless decisions; calculated risks are always needed to figure out the path to success.
Identify Your Customers’ Needs and Give It to Them – Even If They Aren’t Aware of It:
Time and again, Jeff Bezos has reiterated that his company focuses on being customer-centric. Customers are always on the lookout of something better, so just give it to them. As he once said, “No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it.” The Prime membership program, that delivers all goods ordered on Amazon with free and fast shipping, is one of Amazon’s crowning jewels in terms of customer satisfaction.
While many companies can’t afford that, they can come closer to helping their customers and their bottom line by opting for cost-effective smart shipping measures like freight class and less than truckload shipping. However, when it comes to thinking about the customer, you can come up with ideas that suits your business.
Work Every Day Like It’s Your First Day in Business:
Bezos famously said this in his 2016 letter to shareholders, “Day two is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” The rush of joy, energy, and enthusiasm that many newer entrepreneurs would relate with is what keeps the company going; it’s the reason behind the company existing today!
“Acting like a hungry startup” also relates to the quick reactions to consumer trends, fast decision making, and a free-flowing work environment that encourages creativity, dissent, and solutions.
Always Have the End Goal in Mind While Making Any Decision:
While being an easier said than done statement, keeping the long-term goal is essential as you will be able to plan your company’s roadmap accordingly. Back when Amazon was still a startup in the early 2000s, it wasn’t making any profits. According to Bezos, this was intentional to achieve their long-term goal. “We’re going to be unprofitable for a long time. And that’s our strategy” he said in 1997.
While he faced pressure from investors for burning through cash, Bezos was coming up with radical customer-service strategies at the time. After implementing those strategies, things worked out – Amazon turned its first profit for the whole year. Despite the tough times, Bezos stuck with his lofty dreams and ultimately reached those goals.
Start with a Niche and Then Go Big:
Amazon initially started out as a site selling only books. Today, it sells almost everything from groceries to games. It also recently got into media production with Amazon Prime and Amazon Studios. Get the gist? Starting small helps you prove sales and keeps the company focused on profits and overall growth. Once your company crosses its infancy, you can start to carefully diversify into other related niches.
For Bezos, starting an online book store was just the first of many steps to reaching the end goal of the “everything store” that he envisaged. This unrelenting focus during its initial days is one of the main reasons Amazon has become what it is today.
So, To Sum It Up, We Are Convinced This Is the Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success:
If you want to do something in your life, don’t keep mulling over it and just get started. You will have to embrace both failure and innovation to keep your company thriving. Always focus on your customers and think of ways to make things better for them.
Never lose the exuberant feeling you had during your first day at work. Never lose hope and always remember to have the thirst for growth and progress. Start your business with a small niche and lofty long-term goals, and keep working towards it. That’s just the Amazon way!