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Jeff Bezos Articles
King of the Online Jungle: The Early Years of Jeff Bezos
When McKenzie Tuttle walked down the aisle to say “I do” to her husband-to-be Jeff Bezos, she thought she was marrying into a secure future. At the time, Bezos was in his 30s and serving as Vice President of an investment firm in New York City. It was a job he liked – and one that paid well – but Bezos couldn’t shake this crazy idea from his head; he wanted “to create the world’s most customer-centric company, the place where you can find and buy anything you want online.” That stable life McKenzie once had was almost immediately turned upside down when Bezos decided to launch Amazon.com. As fate would have it, Bezos’ small garage startup would go on to become one of the leading e-commerce sites in the world, with revenues exceeding $8 billion.
The Mighty Amazon: Bezos Books his Ticket for Success
“I’m going to do this crazy thing,” Bezos told his boss on Wall Street one day. “I’m going to start this company selling books online.” It was the spring of 1994 and the Internet was growing at 2,300 percent a year. Bezos knew things just didn’t grow that fast. “It’s highly unlikely,” he says, “and that started me thinking, ‘What kind of business plan might make sense in that context of growth?’”
Lesson #1: Obsess About Your Customers, Not Your Competitors
“There are multiple ways to be externally focused that are very successful,” says Bezos. “You can be customer-focused or competitor-focused. Some people are internally focused, and if they reach critical mass, they can tip the whole company.”
Lesson #2: Growth Happens in Bounds and Leaps – of Faith
Jeff Bezos is a risk taker. There are no other words to describe the man who put everything he had into a venture that many said was doomed to failure, even calling it Amazon.toast for the company’s first five years. Bezos might not have known what the future held in store for him and his small garage-based start-up, but he was sure about one thing: “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
Lesson #3: Know When to Throw Away the Rule Book
“Every well-intentioned, high-judgment person we asked told us not to do it,” Bezos recalls of his early goal to create Amazon.com and offer one million, many hard to find book titles online. Some people said he shouldn’t try to sell more than 300,000 titles, while others said he shouldn’t bother trying to sell any whatsoever – after all, selling books was not an online sort of venture, they said. “We got some good advice, we ignored it, and it was a mistake,” says Bezos. “But that mistake turned out to be one of the best things that happened to the company.”
Lesson #4: Create a High Hiring Bar
One of the biggest factors behind the amazing success of Amazon is the people the company has behind it. From day one, Bezos has made it his priority to hire very carefully. He wanted his company to have a long shelf life, and knew that with his staff, he would be creating an enduring culture.
Lesson #5: Don’t Chase the Quick Buck, Think Long-Term
“You can do the math 15 different ways, and every time the math tells you that you shouldn’t lower prices because you’re going to make less money” says Bezos with a giant laugh. “That’s undoubtedly true in the current quarter, in the current year. But it’s probably not true over a 10-year period, when the benefit is going to increase the frequency with which your customers shop with you, the fraction of their purchases they do with you as opposed to other places. Their overall satisfaction is going to go up.”
Jeff Bezos Quotes
Jeff Bezos Quotes
Making it through the Jungle: How Bezos Took Amazon to the Top
Bezos was hit with the hard reality of life when he came to the realization in university that he would never become one of the world’s great physicists. Little did he know that what the future had in store for him would be equally as impressive; from the garage in his two-bedroom home to the company’s global headquarters in Seattle that oversees its $8.5 billion in revenues, Amazon has become one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world. How did Bezos do it?
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By: Evan Carmichael
By: Evan Carmichael
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