What does it take to create the largest e-commerce in the world and raise a personal fortune of more than $ 83 billion?
Ask Jeff Bezos. He is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. But it almost didn’t. Let’s relive the story of Bezos together and try to learn lessons from life.
Only by deliberate action can we bend the universe to our will.
But there is also a common misconception about action: you have to know exactly what is the right action to take before you do anything. This way of thinking leads to “paralysis of analysis” and therefore to inaction.
Bezos is not one to fall into this trap. Although he is well aware that taking wrong actions will have negative consequences, he does not mind:
“If you decide to do only what you know is going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunities on the table. “
In 1994, Jeff Bezos was faced with the most important decision of his life: should he quit his job as a well-paid hedge fund manager in New York to start an online bookstore … or stay warm? He decides to cross the country by car and buy the domain name Amazon.com.
As Amazon has grown, Bezos has encouraged its employees to take action. Sometimes this has resulted in a stroke of genius (the development of one-click shopping). Other times, this ended in a bitter failure (the development of Amazon Auction, which could not compete with eBay).
Bezos doesn’t care and cites “bias for action” as one of Amazon’s six core values.
When Bezos wondered if he should quit his job and start Amazon.com, he realized he lacked an analytical framework to make big life decisions. So he invented one:
“The framework I found that made the decision incredibly easy is what I called a ‘regret minimization framework’. So I wanted to project myself around the age of 80 and say, “Well, now, I look back on my life. I want to have as few regrets as possible. »»
He would not regret having lost his job at the age of 80 (he would surely have found another one), but he would still have regretted not having tried to profit from the online gold rush (at that time, the Internet was growing at 2300% per year).
“I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret it, but I knew that the only thing I could regret was not having tried. “
Try Bezos’ “regret minimization framework”. You may be surprised at how much it inspires you to act.
How long does it take before a startup becomes profitable? Six months? A year?
For Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com, it took more than six years. Even then, the company made only about $ 5 million in profits with revenues of over a billion dollars.
It may sound long (with a very thin margin), but everything went according to Bezos’ unusually slow plan. He was in no hurry to make a profit because he wanted to keep prices low while reinvesting as much income as possible in his business.
This strategy frustrated short-term investors, but it paid off when Amazon survived the bursting of the internet bubble and started posting bigger profits quarter after quarter.
Encourage word of mouth
When Bezos started Amazon, he had no marketing budget. The only way for her business to succeed was to be so good that it spread by word of mouth.
“If you build a great experience, customers talk about it among themselves. Word of mouth is very powerful. “
For a business, there is no better way to grow than positive word of mouth. The only way to do this is to offer a product or service that is worth talking about. Among other things, this means providing excellent customer service…
The client, the client, the client.
Everyone knows that the customer is always right. But Bezos and Amazon have taken customer philosophy to the extreme. For him, customer satisfaction is not “a” priority, it is the only one. The very foundation of its business model:
“The most important thing is to focus only on the customer. Our goal is to be the most customer-centric company in the world. “
The customer experience has never been more important than online. Word of mouth is spreading quickly on social networks and your competitors are always a click away from you. If you want your brand to thrive online, focus on customer satisfaction.
How to develop a product while being sure of its success?
You just have to figure out what your customers really want and what they need. Provide them and you will have no trouble selling.
It is a strategy that Amazon has implemented many times, including with the Kindle. Bezos explains:
“There are two ways to develop a business. Take stock of what you can do and develop your skills. Or figure out what your customers need and work inside out, even if it means learning new skills. “
In 2006, Amazon was an online retailer, not an electronics manufacturer. But Bezos understood that Amazon consumers needed a way to read the e-books they bought on their site. They, therefore, worked backward to meet this need.
When Amazon released the first generation of Kindle in November 2007, it sold out in six hours (and was out of stock for five months). To date, Kindle remains the leader in the e-readers category.
Here are some tips rather simple to implement, may they lead you to the same success as that by which they are given to us!
If you want to get started, have professionals accompany you for the creation of your website or for your logo.