Timeless Lessons From Amazon’s Success [Customers and Innovation]

Amazon may now be known worldwide as an e-commerce juggernaut (and not only) and one of the most successful companies of all time. When it started though, during the dot-com bubble, it was far from certain that it would become successful at all. 

As Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO, after founding the company in 1994 and staying on its helm throughout all this time until today, it’s a great opportunity to explore what made Amazon such a humongous success.

It is a case study that we, undoubtedly, can learn a lot from, not only about building a successful online business of our own but about what makes a company successful for the long term in general. If a newly founded company has these or similar attributes, you can safely guess it will become a success (tip: this is, also, great info if you’re interested in investing).

To make my point I will share with you a couple of videos from YouTube.

The first one is an interview that Bezos gave to CNBC in 1999 (7 minutes 42 seconds long).

Notice, from the questions and the tone, how the reporter seems to doubt Amazon‘s choices at the moment, and how Bezos is obsessively focused on one thing, the customer (customer service, customer experience, customer interests). He also has great awareness and confidence in his, and the company’s, actions. Furthermore, he has an ambitious but clear, long-term vision.

The second video is an assortment of parts of talks and interviews Bezos has given over the years (9 minutes 44 seconds long).

This is an inspiration/motivation type video but it contains many “golden nuggets” that hint at what made Amazon so successful.

He talks about: 

  • being bold, experimenting, taking risks, and embracing failure (a few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work),
  • the need to be nimble and robust/innovative and resilient, and to always lean into the future (if not, the future always wins),
  • finding your passion, doing meaningful work, being proud of your hard work and your choices (and grateful for your gifts),
  • the need to have an inventor’s mentality (maintaining a beginner’s mindset while being a domain expert),
  • you can’t skip steps, things take time (you want to do those steps with passion),
  • as an entrepreneur, you need to be stubborn and flexible (stubborn with your vision, flexible with the details),
  • you need to be very clear with yourself and not chase the hot passion of the day, taking the long-term point of view (instead of living for the now).

It may not have been so obvious that Amazon would come to be such a hugely successful company, at the time of its founding and during the first few years when important actions and events were taking place for the growth of the company.

Looking back though, after-the-fact, just by watching these two videos, on this post, it is easy to see why Amazon succeeded. It is in fact, I dare say, quite obvious.

But isn’t it like that always?

Here are the keys to Amazon‘s success:

  • focus on the customer (end-to-end customer experience, customer service, etc),
  • inspired, ambitious and committed founder who has stayed on its helm to enact his vision, see it grow and get established,
  • a culture encouraging experimentation, innovation, and growth that endured; it didn’t die off after the first few years from its founding as it often happens with start-ups leading to their decline,
  • clear long-term vision (and planning),
  • reinvestments of the profits back to the company,
  • hiring the right people (that align with the company’s culture and its purpose),
  • taking responsibility for failures and, even, embracing them (as a stepping-stone for achieving something bigger),
  • possessing, and exhibiting as necessary, robustness and flexibility.

“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful:
Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

— Jeff Bezos

If you’re interested in building your own company, if you have a deep desire to be an entrepreneur, this is the best time ever.

Creating an online business is straightforward and fast, and easier than ever. Furthermore, you can create it from the comfort of your own home, from your favorite café, or anywhere else as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection; and you can work at your own best time and pace.

Get started with this FREE 4-part video training series that teaches you the business models you can launch online (focusing on two simple business models you can start with immediately), gives you advice and tips on what it will realistically take for you to succeed in building a business and making a full-time income online, and more.

Take this business training and, at the least, learn more about building an online business (and the mindset and commitment necessary to succeed) and discover if it aligns with your long-term vision for your life.

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