Jeff Bezos Quotes

To create the world’s most customer-centric company, the place where you can find and buy anything you want online.

Our garage was basically science fair central.

I think I occasionally worried my parents that they were going to open the door one day and have 30 pounds of nails drop on their head or something.

I realized I’m never going to be a great physicist.

That was where I was working when I came across the fact that the web was growing at 2,300 percent a year.

I’m going to do this crazy thing. I’m going to start this company selling books online.

It’s highly unlikely and that started me thinking, ‘What kind of business plan might make sense in that context of growth?’

There are multiple ways to be externally focused that are very successful. 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.

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.

We have so many customers who treat us so well, and we have the right kind of culture that obsesses over the customer.

If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.

You have to use your judgment. In cases like that, we say, ‘Let’s be simpleminded. We know this is a feature that’s good for customers. Let’s do it.’

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

I love people counting on me, and so, you know, today it’s so easy to be motivated, because we have millions of customers counting on us at Amazon.com. That’s fun.

I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.

The framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called – which only a nerd would call – a ‘regret minimization framework’. So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, ‘Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.’

I knew that that would haunt me every day.

It’s very important for entrepreneurs to be realistic. So if you believe on that first day while you’re writing the business plan that there’s a 70 percent chance that the whole thing will fail, then that kind of relieves the pressure of self-doubt.

We are willing to go down a bunch of dark passageways, and occasionally we find something that really works.

Every well-intentioned, high-judgment person we asked told us not to do it. We got some good advice, we ignored it, and it was a mistake. But that mistake turned out to be one of the best things that happened to the company.

For the first four years of the company, we worked in relative obscurity. We always had lots of supporters and we always had lots of skeptics, and that's still the same today. It's just that the level of visibility is so much higher. If you look at the six years that we've been doing business, in exactly one of those six years we were not the underdog.

If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. 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.

We’re very comfortable being misunderstood. We’ve had lots of practice.

I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.

No, communication is terrible!

For every leader in the company, not just for me, there are decisions that can be made by analysis. These are the best kinds of decisions!

The most junior person in the company can win an argument with the most senior person with a fact-based decision.

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. 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.

If I had a nickel for every time a potential investor told me this wouldn’t work.

Sometimes we measure things and see that in the short term they actually hurt sales, and we do it anyway.

Our point of view is we will sell more if we help people make purchasing decisions.

If you’re very clear to the outside world that you’re taking a long-term approach, then people can self-select in.

As [Warren] Buffett says, you get the shareholders you deserve.

A lot of people – and I’m just not one of them – believe that you should live for the now. I think what you do is think about the great expanse of time ahead of you and try to make sure that you’re planning for that in a way that’s going to leave you ultimately satisfied. This is the way it works for me.

You know, if you make a customer unhappy they won't tell five friends, they'll tell 5,000 friends. So we are at a point now where we have all of the things we need to build an important and lasting company, and if we don't, it will be shame on us.

It makes all the blind alleys worthwhile.

If you think about the long term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.

The Internet in general, and Amazon.com in particular, is still in Chapter One.

We haven’t built a lasting company yet.

I’m not near the end of the story.

That blank sheet of paper stage is one of the hardest stages, and one of the reasons it's hard is because at that stage there's nobody counting on you but yourself. Today it's easy because we've got millions of customers counting on us, and thousands of investors counting on us, and thousands of employees all counting on each other. In that beginning stage it's really just you, and you can quit any time. Nobody is going to care, so you set about doing the simple things first.

I think one thing I find very motivating -- and I think this is probably a very common form of motivation or cause of motivation -- is... I love people counting on me, and so, you know, today it's so easy to be motivated, because we have millions of customers counting on us at Amazon.com. We've got thousands of investors counting on us. And we're a team of thousands of employees all counting on each other. That's fun

The thing about inventing is you have to be both stubborn and flexible. The hard part is figuring out when to be which.

We watch our competitors, learn from them, see the things that they were doing for customers and copy those things as much as we can.

I want to see good financial returns, but also to me there's the extra psychic return of having my creativity and technological vision bear fruit and change the world in a positive way.

Another thing that I would recommend to people is that they always take a long-term point of view. I think this is something about which there's a lot of controversy. A lot of people -- and I'm just not one of them -- believe that you should live for the now. I think what you do is think about the great expanse of time ahead of you and try to make sure that you're planning for that in a way that's going to leave you ultimately satisfied. This is the way it works for me. There are a lot of paths to satisfaction and you need to find one that works for you.

The Internet in general, and Amazon.com in particular, is still Chapter One. You're asking me about my story, and it's still the very beginning.

When a company is very tiny it needs a tremendous amount of not only hard work but, as we talked about earlier, luck. As a company gets bigger it starts to become a little more stable. At a certain point in time the company has a much bigger influence over its future outcome and it needs a lot less luck and instead it needs the hard work. At that point there's a little bit more pressure, because if you fail you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Things never go smoothly.

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