With the holidays upon us, we can't help but think of retail, and many of us can't help but think of one person: Amazon's Jeff Bezos. We will inevitably hear pundits discussing the "death of retail." Even us retail stocks have perked up, of late.
Regardless, retail isn't dying so much as consumers have engaged in a wholesale rethinking of the way we shop. The convenience alone of shopping online makes the trend toward more online shopping inevitable. And perhaps nobody on earth more encapsulates the online retail revolution than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. A fascinating figure who is revolutionizing several industries. And represents one of the seminal innovators of our era.
Bezos recently sat for an interview with Michael Beckerman, the CEO of The Internet Association. During the 37-minutes discussion, Bezos shared the principles behind how Amazon's success. And how the company dominates markets. Principles that have inspired many of the company's winning products, programs and services.
The interview shows Bezos speaking of many of his success stories. Some of which caught our attention as investors. But all of which appealed to our desire to achieve success by meeting the needs and objectives of clients/customers. A topic over which Bezos, and his corporate doppelganger Amazon, are obsessed.
Some of the highlights of the interview are as follows:
-Become obsessed with customers. Not products, technology nor competitors. Amazon always puts customers first. The company endeavors to know its customers so well that it can present what they want before customers know they want it.
-Focus on long-term planning. Too many companies focus on the bottom line. Quarter after quarter. Year after year. Sometimes to the detriment of the customer At Amazon, they plan five to seven years ahead. And then relentlessly execute towards those long-term objectives.
-Identify your big ideas. This helps your company focus on what's important. Develop and operate around two or three big ideas. Ideas that reflect values that will endure for 10 to 20 years. Amazon's three big ideas? Low prices, fast delivery and vast selection.
-Accept failure as a path to success. Bezos has realized that you cannot invent or pioneer without experimenting. And naturally, experiments fail more often than they succeed. Like individual inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers or anyone on the path towards a better, more effective solution, so too can companies productively fail again and again along the path to success.
During the interview, Bezos reveals one ongoing innovation upon which Amazon is working that will continue to make the consumer's experience safer and more satisfying. Coincidentally, it involved a company in which many of our clients are investing (we love it when portfolio companies work alongside geniuses).
Jeff Bezos ranks among the more fascinating people in business today. He got his start on Wall Street. Recognized opportunity. Jumped into the internet revolution. Created one of the world's largest, most powerful companies. And continues to innovate in ways that resonate throughout the business and consumer landscape. Anyone with an interest in business, retail or success will enjoy this interview.
Moreover, if you desire a deeper dive into the life of Amazon's visionary founder, and get a premium vantage point into the company's creation, culture and mission, check out Brad Stone's book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.