LESSONS EVERY BUSINESS MAN SHOULD LEARN FROM JEFF BEZOS
LESSONS EVERY BUSINESS MAN SHOULD LEARN FROM JEFF BEZOS
Jeff Bezos is not a popular name like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Bill Gate, but do you know he is the number one richest man in the world. In 2017, he made a whopping $40 billion to his net worth making him the richest man in the world. He makes more money in one minute than the average millennial makes in a year.
Bezos was a billionaire when Warren Buffett was worth nearly $30 billion; presently, Bezos is about $20 billion richer than Buffett. He has four times as much money, as his alma mater, Princeton University. He may be the first man to earn 12-digit figure and his net worth could go even higher. According to online sources, he could become the world's first trillionaire in the next 25 years.
Jeff Bezos’ wealth didn’t build up overnight, it all started from a simple online bookstore in his bedroom. That same online bookstore grew to become the celebrated Amazon you know dominating the World Wide Web. Amazon is now worth more than $800 billion though with initial slow sales when Jeff started 24 years ago. The billionaire says he picked up a success business skill from his grandfather, Lawrence Preston Gise, which he has used repeatedly through his career.
As a business person who may want to learn, read on to gain from Jeff Bezos business secret. The following are lessons from the world’s richest man to help you maximize your business.
Bezos explains that resourcefulness and self-reliance are values that he currently uses in his work on a daily basis. He says that as an entrepreneur and someone pursuing a passion to "move things forward," you run into problems, failures and things that don't work. When that happens, he says, "You have to back up and try again."
"Each one of those times that you have a setback and you back up and try again, you're using resourcefulness. You're using self-reliance. You're trying to invent your way out of a box," says Bezos.
He points to Amazon, which he says has "tons" of examples of failure. Regardless, the company manages to overcome obstacles by continuously assessing and testing out new strategies. "That resourcefulness of trying new things, figuring things out," says Bezos, "It pays off in everything."
Be stubborn on vision and flexible on details
According to Bezos, good entrepreneurs must be stubborn and flexible. Sticking to the vision is the first part, and being flexible about the tactics is the second part. “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.” He adds
While entrepreneurs are generally stubborn individuals they may fail to balance up the whole logic of running their business. In this regard, they may be close minded on both tactical details and vision. However, Bezos, warns you just have to get it right in playing both- stubbornness and flexibility simultaneously.
The two-pizza philosophy
Jeff Bezos believes in small size independent team or unit. According to him, a team must comprise of 5 – 7 people only. In his words, if a team cannot be fed by two pizzas, it’s too large. This attitude correlates with Bezos’ other active belief – the constant removal of waste.
He opines that large teams become inefficient and usually find it hard to come to a decisive result whereby wasting resources along the way. For me, assigning tasks to a small group of people gets the job done quickly and allows ideas to flow freely.
Be Obsess over customers
Jeff observed businesses often focus too much on competitors rather than their customers. Your customers are the reason you are in business not your competitors. Once you get this right and employ strategic means in improving on your services for customers, you will earn their trust and loyalty.
“Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient”, says the Amazon king. According to him, in Amazon there is a common line of thinking: “Start with the customer and work backwards.” Amazon built its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business by listening to customers.
The idea was designed to solve the problems with too-expensive in-house application hosting and open-source products that weren't robust enough to easily support fast-growing or already-large companies. This suits their customers. Presently, Amazon Web Services is now over $10 billion business. This is what customer obsession can create.
Give workers a stake in the success of the business
"We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.'' says the billionaire. What this emphasizes is the need to treat workers the way you want to be treated.
Often times, it’s the employee that suffers during the period of economic crisis and down size moment; it shouldn’t be. When things are good, the employee should be happy, when all is not well, make efforts to keep them happy. This way, things will get better unlike when you treat people like trash.
Never stop experimenting
Experimentation is a part of Amazon’s culture. Jeff Bezos says “If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.” Experimentation is imperative for business and its how new innovations are born to stay competitive in the market.
Experimentation is everywhere. It happens in all business areas. Automotive companies, food companies, pharmaceutical companies etc. It’s not secondary or something that “has to be done because everyone else does it” he pointed out.
Just as experiment is necessary, so is measuring the experiments. One of Bezos thoughts on experiment is whether they can measure an experiment. When someone comes up with an idea for an experiment, Bezos commonly says, “We can measure that.”
Even if you can measure it, and the results tell you not to do it, that doesn’t always mean that you shouldn’t. Bezos says, “Sometimes we measure things and see that in the short term they actually hurt sales, and we do it anyway.” While they may hurt the short term, they can benefit in the long term. If it’s good for customers, it’s a good indicator that you should make that experimental practice permanent.
Identify and Remove Risk
Although businessmen are risk takers, they thrive on it and it excites them but read what Bezos says about risk taking in business. “Starting a company is already risky, and then you systematically eliminate risk step by step in those early days.
According to him, risk taking should not be at the beginning of the business “you kind of need to systematically identify risk and then as the company gets bigger and more robust, you can start taking risks again but in those early days a lot of it is about ‘okay I have a good idea, how do we reduce risk?’”
Think Long Term
If you can know only one thing about Bezos, it should be that he thinks long term. When asked about Amazon’s revenue growth once one time, Bezos couldn’t even remember the exact growth percentage, something rare for a CEO. When asked why he didn’t know, he said: “I’m thinking a few years out. I’ve already forgotten those numbers.”
Thinking long term requires a tremendous amount of patience. This is especially true when you’re the CEO who needs to also focus on day-to-day operations. And it requires you to be misunderstood for long periods of time. It’s part of building something new. So you need to invent and be willing to be misunderstood.
He also says that long-term thinking and experimentation needs to be a fundamental ingredient of the company: “You need a culture that high-fives small and innovative ideas and senior executives that encourage ideas. In order for innovative ideas to bear fruit, companies need to be willing to “wait for 5-7 years, and most companies don’t take that time horizon.” One of his quote for business is “If we think long term, we can accomplish things that we couldn’t otherwise accomplish.”
Get Started Now to Avoid Regret Later
Bezos had a good job on Wall Street, he had to decide to start the company or keep his good job. He created a framework to use for making the decision that he calls a Regret Minimization Framework. It helped him realize he didn’t want to forfeit it and regret it later. This fear of regret is one of the key reasons why he decided to go ahead and start Amazon.
So you as a business man, what’s the worst thing you can live with? Regrets, guilt, sorrow? Don’t take chances especially when you have all it takes to set out. Be the Jeff Bezos