It’s official, the famed founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is now the world’s richest man in modern history (btw, I don’t know how you would compare that to non-modern rich men and women) with a net worth of $150 Bil. USD (~50% more than Bill Gates).
What was the reason for Jeff’s success?
In my opinion, it was Jeff’s unrelenting drive to add value to the customer. By doing so, he reduced waste and make the customer’s life easier and reduced their expenses. Essentially, in a market economy, the company that is able to add the most value to their customers wins in the end (e.g. Netflix vs blockbuster, Amazon vs Walmart, iPhone vs digital cameras, etc.). Here are a few observations I have made:
- In a recent podcast (link below), I heard a quote from Bazos where he said that his job is not the day-to-day tasks of running the firm, but living in the future (vision for Amazon) and working on company culture). Bazos has enough money to retire, but he has a passion for his buisness and improving the lives of his customers.
- It was shocking to me to hear that he was excited to come back to work after his vacation in Norway because he can’t wait to get back to living in the future
- It is rumoured that he cares so much about the client that during meetings there is always an empty seat that supposedly is reserved for the customer. Thus, as the executive team makes decisions, they think about what the invisible customer would think
- Lastly, Jeff is not a short term thinker. He said in a recent interview that he really doesn’t care about his fluctuating revenues, because at the end of the day, what matters is customer experience and that is the only thing he can control. Bazos can’t control the revenue, but he can effect customer experience. Thus, he chooses to focus on what he can effect (inputs) and less on what he can’t control (revenue)
- The investors podcast, episode 199