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Jeff Bezos Amazon Strategic Long Term Thinking As Competitive Advantage & Other Ideas

by Gogo Erekosima
(Strategic Management Consulting)

In this video from Jeff Bezos, founder of, he shares 4 lessons he has learned, the purchase of Zappos, and inspiring stories - ones that entrepreneurs and business owners should find really, really useful coming from someone who has definitely experienced both the joys and some of the despairs (or derision) that can overwhelm a startup or business innovator.

As is often the case with all the videos in our series of Great Business Presentations for Idea Age Businesses, I include my own thoughts and applications of the lessons from the video in the section below.

Who will find this video useful?
1. Start Up Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
2. Self-Doubting Or Discouraged Entrepreneurs
3. Business Coaches, Consultants & Trainers
4. Digital and Tech Business people
5. Strategic Thinkers
6. C-Level Executives

Sample Quote
“Tons of stories from the early days, we started the company in my house, we didn’t have enough electric power in the house at a certain point we only had about 4 employees then, but we already had enough computers and computer servers…we had to string these big, orange extension cords from every room in the house to get enough power into the room where the office was so basically all the circuit breakers were flipping – we couldn’t plug a vacuum cleaner in anywhere without flipping off all the circuit breakers, so we finally had to move to a real office.

Some Really Interesting Ideas

  • The Birth Epic – One of the core concepts I teach our clients here at Idea Age Consulting is Epic-Driven marketing and why it is beneficial to communicate your business’ birth epic (or origin story) early and often, and to master this communication. I often share how I became a marketing consultant because I watched a business partner say good bye to $15,000 of TV commercial spend without either one of us having a way to really track or improve performance, knowing that we’d passed up on our own trusted marketing methods that cost 99% less and had been very effective.

    Jeff Bezos starts this video by sharing that he’s got “tons of stories from the early days”. Remember your stories – use them to communicate with customers, media, and employees. See how your early stories identify the DNA, mission, and vision of your company. Gain strength from them.

  • Everything I know – He claims that these 4 lessons are “everything I know”. Somehow, I doubt it. Still, it illustrates the importance of finding the “essence” of what you do and what you communicate. He has broken this into 4 things:

    a. Obsess Over Customers – See Customer-Centricity
    b. Invent
    c. Think Long Term
    d. It’s Always Day 1 – Always more ways to think about future, new ways to obsess over customers, invent, and prove worthy of their business.

  • Beyond Customer-Obsession, Customer Driven Business– This advice to “obsess over customers” would sound cliché until you realize that Amazon has gone from being the target of old derisive jokes(“Amazon.TOAST” , “Amazon.CON”) to being one of the 4 tech companies in position to own the web and the innovation economy. Amazon innovated with customer reviews, affiliate programs, cloud services and now mobile computing products (Kindle and Fire) while Ebay has largely stagnated. Think about that.

    The lesson is to wrap your business model and strategic processes around the customer in such a way that you can decipher what Adrian Slywotzky called their “silent priorities” before they are conscious of them and do what Bezos recommends here – “invent for the customer...they can't do it for themselves”.

  • The Hidden Long Term Advantage
  • - I recently read an interview of Jeff Bezos in which he brilliantly articulated just how much you can winnow down the field of your true competitors, just by thinking long term. This is another application of one of our mantras - "Strategy before tactics".

    If you are one of the few who are willing to design business and allocate resources toward long-term goals, you'll soon find that you are building a high-potential, scalable business.

  • Company Culture As A Competitive Advantage – Don’t get me wrong, Zappos built a juggernaut that made money. Having said that, it’s enlightening that Bezos spends so much time and places so much value on the value of the culture as it has translated to the “Zappos Brand”. In my lean marketing approach, any investment in company culture that doesn’t translate directly into creating value for external and internal customers and stakeholders is a waste. Zappos investment clearly wasn’t.

A Must-See Presentation the Hidden Empire
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