Key Highlights

  • Bezos’ Amazon founded on 11 beliefs
  • Combination of luck, timing and the below 11 principles contributed to Bezos’ success

Recent Article in Inc. Magazine Offers Insights into Bezos’ Business Mindset

In an almost surprise flash, Jeff Bezos recently announced he was “stepping down” from the business he founded in July1994 that earned him an estimated $7M/hour during 2020.

Inc. Magazine just published an article that offers insights into Bezos’ business thinking.  Perhaps you too could be “More like Bezos?”

Use a “Regret Minimumization”  Framework

The wisest among us say that most of us regret the things we haven’t done in our lives, not the things we have done.  Bezos thought, “At 80 years old, I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.”

Find the Right Opportunity

Bezos started out to build an internet company in the early 1990’s once he learned the internet was growing at a rate of 2300% a year.

Then he learned there were some 3M titled books in print at that time and that books were cheap to ship.  So…

Be Customer Obsessed

Bezos believes in creating businesses that people can’t live without. Millions of people, though he wasn’t one of them, can’t live without books so…

He also believes that any product/service that people cannot live without can be/must be described in a relatively short (6 pages max) narrative (not Power Point, no jargon, no insider’s information) form that anyone regardless of his or her background can understand.

Just as Denzel Washington said to Tom Hanks in the film “Philadelphia,” “Explain it to me as if I were a six year old.”

Make Value Exceed All Costs

The Bezos formula is low prices + limitless selection + flawless fulfillment.

Fear Customers, Not Competitors

Bezos says that competitors do not give you money, customers do. Customers are the “folks who have the money.”

Focus on the Long Term

Amazon Prime is a great example of focusing on the long-term.  When it was created in 2013, there were few (almost nil) subscribers willing to pay $79/year to get free shipping.  Bezos poured millions into Prime in hopes of capturing more subscribers…subscribers who would likely buy more products because they “got” free shipping.  By the end of 2019, there were an estimated 112M Prime subscribers, up from 95M in 2018.  And, guess what?  The average Prime subscriber spends $1,400/year.

At the end of 2020, there were 142.5 M Prime members in the US alone…153M users are projected to be Prime users in 2022.

Feed the Flywheel

Keep adding products.  The more products, the more customers, the more profits.

Hire for Intensity

Hire great people and keep them from leaving by giving them purposeful and meaningful missions to fulfill

Protect Your Culture

Recognize your company history, your company successes, your company failures.  And then guard them all as your company culture.

Know What Kind of Decisions You’re Making

Bezos divides decisions into two categories:  one-way, irreversible decisions and Type 2 decisions.  Bezos says, “Don’t confuse these two categories…and don’t wait too long to make them.”

Listen to Critics But Not Too Much

Bezos says, “If you can’t afford to be misunderstood, don’t do anything new or innovative.”

That’s all there is to it.


Thanks to Inc. Magazine.


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