Jeff Bezos is a self-made multibillionaire who launched an online bookstore and turned it into the largest online retailer of all time.
His success story began in 1994, when he launched Amazon.com from his garage. It was the dawn of the digital age, and Bezos was a man with a vision — he knew from the start that his online store would focus on more than just books. He set out to create an online retail empire that sold anything and everything, at a low cost, with products reaching customers within days.
Amazon.com has forever changed the online retail environment and fundamentally changed the way millions of people shop. Along the way, Bezos has become the richest man in the world, worth approximately $108 billion.
So what are the secrets behind Bezos’ wild success?
The “Day 1” philosophy.
Bezos came up with the Day 1 concept in the early days of Amazon. The concept means that Amazon will always strive to keep a startup mentality — it will always guard against the contentment that sweeping success can bring. Bezos defines Day 2 as stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by decline and death, which is why he believes it’s paramount his company always stays in Day 1 mode.
What would your 80-year-old self say?
In the fast-paced, cutthroat world of business, it’s hard to know which opportunities are the right ones and which ones to leave behind. How do you determine which way to go?
This was the situation Bezos faced when he came up with the idea of launching an online retail store. He already had a great job working at a hedge fund, but he saw how fast the internet was growing and knew his idea had real potential. So how did he summon the courage to leave a stable, well-paying job to launch a startup?
He took a moment to reflect and project himself at 80 years old. Would he would regret it in his old age if he didn’t take this chance? The answer was undeniably yes.
Leverage the best team for your business.
The success of your business largely depends on the people you hire to help build it. Bezos takes team building seriously. His philosophy is to focus on bringing the right people on board, and then give them a stake in the success of the company, so they’re motivated to see it succeed.
In his 2017 shareholder letter, Bezos wrote: “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.” In keeping with this, Amazon offers compensation heavy in stock options. This increases employee involvement in the company’s overall success.
Be bold and innovate where it counts most.
Bezos has said that Amazon’s goal is to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” so nearly everything that goes on inside the company is driven with that goal in mind.
Each step of the way in building his online “everything store,” Bezos has added features and functions that were initially considered unwarranted, but were beneficial to the customer. That’s why Amazon is constantly working on optimizing its logistic and delivery systems, to make its services run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Amazon has poured huge amounts of resources into developing its infrastructure. These investments have paid off, as the company now holds the title of largest online retailer in the world.