Are you a young entrepreneur looking for some inspiration? The first few names that pop up in your mind would be Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. One man that deserves to be on your list is Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos. Rightly called the “Man who sells everything”, he deserves all the credit for Amazon’s success. Taking Amazon from a small bookseller shop to the biggest retailer in the world is no mean feat.
We’ve taken a dive into his ocean of wisdom and found 8 pearls for all you young, budding entrepreneurs out there. So, without further ado, let’s analyze each lesson from Amazon CEO.
1. Focus on Customers, not Competitors
While most companies focus on competitors, Jeff Bezos thinks that it is not the right way to go. He advises young entrepreneurs to get obsessed about customers instead of focusing on competitors. His words also reflect his mindset when he said, “The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.” In fact, he also considers being fixated on enhancing customer experience as the secret ingredient of Amazon’s success. If you want to succeed in today’s digitally connected world, you should focus all your energies towards ensuring customer satisfaction.
2. Follow The Two Pizza Rule
Jeff Bezos is a big advocate of smaller groups. This is where the two-pizza rule comes in. According to Jeff Bezos, the perfect size of a group working on a single task should not exceed the number of people that can be fed by two pizzas. In simple words, the group should neither be small nor be large. Inefficiency creeps in when there is a large group of people working on a single task while issues like overburdening of employees occur in small groups.
3. Be Flexible and Stubborn
The idea of how you can be flexible and stubborn at the same time sounds very confusing because both these words are opposite of each other. Thankfully, Jeff Bezos explained this in his own words when he said, To elaborate this concept, he further adds, “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments soon. If you are not flexible, you will pound your head against the wall and you will not see a different solution to a problem you are trying to solve.” The key to success for young entrepreneurs is to know when to be stubborn and when to be flexible and strike a perfect balance between them.
4. Use Word of Mouth to Your Advantage
In today’s internet-centric world, we have downplayed the importance of word of mouth. Jeff Bezos also thinks along the same lines. In fact, he takes it one step further and opines that word of mouth has never been so important than it is now because of social media and the internet. Customers express their opinion about your products and services on different internet platforms, which spread like wildfire in cyberspace. Therefore, you need to take your customers’ views and opinions about your products and services in a positive way to build a good reputation online.
5. Think Long Term
One thing that makes Jeff Bezos stand out from rest of the successful entrepreneurs is that he is not worried about what his quarterly financial reports depict. He focuses on his long-term goals. This is what young entrepreneurs can learn from Amazon’s CEO. If you want your startup to survive long, then you should emphasize on making long-term plans and executing them well. Focusing on short-term profits by compromising on long-term goals is not the way to go if you are serious about your making your startup grow and expand with the passage of time.
6. Never Stop Experimenting
To encourage young entrepreneurs to experiment, Jeff Bezos said, “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you are going to double your inventiveness.” Most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs agree with Jeff Bezos on this point. Do you know why? The reason is that experimentation is the key to generation of new ideas and innovation. Without it, your startup cannot compete against the big boys and the give yourself an edge over your competitors.
7. It is Good to be Misunderstood
Whenever you try to dip your toes in other domains, you will get some harsh reviews early on because most people do not understand the purpose behind your actions. Jeff Bezos recommends young entrepreneurs to hold their ground and do not get bogged down by early criticism. Amazon’s CEO once said, “We are very comfortable being misunderstood. We’ve had lots of practice.”. Be confident about your vision and go ahead. With this approach, you can easily convert your critics into customers.
8. Write Your Name in the History Books
With the number of things he had achieved in his life, most of us think of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the pinnacle of his career but he thinks differently. According to him, he is not near the end of the story yet. He wants to make history and recommends young entrepreneurs following his footsteps to do the same. He shared his way of doing business when he said, “Work hard, have fun and make history”.
Whether it is about focusing on customers instead of competitors, focusing on word of mouth instead of other methods of marketing or making long term plans instead of short term, Jeff Bezos wants his followers to be like him. Innovative, experimental and customer focused. He wants young entrepreneurs to stay focused on their vision and mission so that any criticism they may face earlier in their entrepreneurial journey won’t demotivate and distract them.
After reading this article, you might have realized that all these lessons are unique and somewhat strange because you have been learning some common ones lately. This is why Jeff Bezos stands out from rest of the entrepreneurs. Whether you like it or not, his advice counts because he is the man behind the success of Amazon, the world largest retailer. We have told you his secrets of success, now it is your job to follow his advice and make your own entrepreneurial dreams come true.