What is Jeff Bezos’ secret to success?
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our generation. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has built a business empire spanning everything from e-commerce and cloud computing to artificial intelligence (AI). What can we learn from Bezos, one of the richest men in the world with a net worth of $151 billion? Here are six key lessons all entrepreneurs can learn from the billionaire:
1. Follow your passion
“Having a passion is a gift. I think we all have different passions and you can’t choose them; They choose you,” Bezos said. Bezos has always been tech-savvy. Realizing the potential of the Internet, he left his job as senior vice president at investment firm DE Shaw & Co. in 1994 to found Amazon, which was valued at $1.21 trillion.
Additionally, Bezos’ longtime interest in space exploration has become a reality through his space exploration company, Blue Origin. In July 2021, he made history by becoming the second person ever to be launched into Earth orbit – what an incredible achievement!
Passion is essential for any entrepreneur who wants to succeed; Without them, you won’t have the drive or determination to see your business through the tough times. If you’re not excited about your business idea, it might be time to reconsider your plans.
2. Take risks
“Our entire history as a company is about taking risks; Many of these have failed and many will fail, but we will continue to take great risks,” Bezos said at his last shareholder meeting as Amazon CEO in May 2021.
Bezos has always been willing to take risks, which has paid off handsomely given Amazon’s massive success. From quitting his high-paying job to founding Amazon in 1994, Bezos’ decisions have been risky. He poured everything he had into the new venture, including his savings, his home, and stock options from his previous job.
However, Jeff Bezos didn’t stop taking risks after Amazon became successful; He continued to take risks to keep Amazon as the market leader. For example, Amazon’s e-reader, Kindle, was a high-risk product that turned out in favor of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Kindle wasn’t the first e-reader to hit the market, but it quickly became the best-selling e-reader due to its innovative features and affordable price.
In 2015, he bought an Israeli microelectronics startup called Annapurna Labs for $350 million for its AWS division. It was a bold step, but it worked once again: AWS is one of the most successful companies in the world today. Bezos is also involved with new companies like Blue Origin and The Washington Postwhich he bought for $250 million in 2013.
One of the latest explorations Amazon has tapped into is drone delivery service Amazon Prime Air, which officially became available in areas of California and Texas this July. While we have yet to see if the project will impress the market and address the cost issue, it’s nonetheless remarkable to see Amazon always stepping it up!
Taking risks is essential for entrepreneurs because it allows them to find new opportunities for growth. Without risk, companies would never advance or innovate.
3. Be continuously innovative
“When you decide to only do the things that you know are going to work, you leave a lot of options open,” said Bezos, who has always focused on innovation to stay ahead of the competition. Amazon originally started as an online bookstore, but Bezos quickly expanded it into other areas, such as online grocery platforms, customer reviews, product recommendations, and more.
In recent years, Amazon has been a leading explorer in AI (AI) and cloud computing with its Alexa platform (Amazon’s own virtual assistant technology) and Amazon Web Services (AWS). For example, Formula 1 racing has been working with Amazon since 2018, integrating Amazon SageMaker and AWS deep learning models to analyze race performance data and improve viewer experiences.
With constant innovation, Bezos has ensured that Amazon remains at the forefront of the tech industry. If you want your business to be successful, you must constantly look for ways to improve and innovate your product or service offering.
4. Hire smart people
One of Bezos’ mottos is “Hire people who are smarter than you.” The Amazon founder is always on the lookout for “mavericks,” or people who are “a little bit radical or a little bit rebellious.” Though they’re “a bit annoying” and “not the easiest people to get along with,” Bezos believes they’re the ones who can come up with new and innovative ideas.
This belief has helped him build a strong team driving Amazon’s success. This team included veteran executives such as Jeff Wilke, who led Amazon’s global consumer business, and Andy Jassy, who led AWS before becoming Amazon’s CEO in 2021.
So if you’re an entrepreneur looking to build a successful business, don’t be afraid to hire people who are smarter than you — even if it annoys you. They could be the key to your success!
5. Be patient and far-sighted
Bezos didn’t become a billionaire overnight. It took him years of hard work and dedication to get to where he is today. Bezos is a long-term thinker, making decisions based on what he thinks will benefit Amazon three years down the road. This strategy helped it weather tough times for Amazon, like when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 or AWS experienced an outage in 2011.
Through patience and long-term thinking, Bezos made decisions that make Amazon one of the most valuable companies in the world today. Patience is a virtue that all entrepreneurs must have if they want to be successful. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and most businesses can’t be immediately successful and profitable either.
6. Customers are the key to success
“If there’s a reason we’ve outperformed our competitors in the Internet space over the last six years, it’s because we’ve laser-focused on the customer experience,” Bezos said in 2000.
He has always been focused on providing an exceptional customer experience. He was one of the first e-commerce CEOs to realize that the key to success was not just selling products, but creating a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for customers. This customer-centric approach has been a cornerstone of Amazon’s success and has helped it become one of the most trusted brands in the world.
Whether you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey or you’re well on your way to becoming a billionaire yourself, heed these six lessons from Bezos. Apply them to your own entrepreneurial journey and see how far you can go. Maybe with a little muscle power you can make your business dreams come true!
So do you have what it takes to be the next Jeff Bezos?
Cover image courtesy of Flickr