Happy birthday, Amazon!
The “Everything Store” went live 20 years ago today, though back then it only sold books.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, has built a company with a $US200+ billion market cap by being incredibly smart and business savvy, so we rounded up some quotes that show his genius.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
On innovation: 'I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.'
On progress: 'If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.'
On developing company culture: 'Part of company culture is path-dependent -- it's the lessons you learn along the way.'
On motivation: 'I strongly believe that missionaries make better products. They care more. For a missionary, it's not just about the business. There has to be a business, and the business has to make sense, but that's not why you do it. You do it because you have something meaningful that motivates you.'
On morals: 'The one thing that offends me the most is when I walk by a bank and see ads trying to convince people to take out second mortgages on their home so they can go on vacation. That's approaching evil.'
One strategy: 'We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.'
On growth: 'All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you're Woolworth's.'
On pivoting: 'If you're not stubborn, you'll give up on experiments too soon. And if you're not flexible, you'll pound your head against the wall and you won't see a different solution to a problem you're trying to solve.'
On marketing: 'In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.'
On pricing: 'There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.'
On empowering a team: 'I would never say no to something the team wanted to do, but I might say yes to something the team didn't want to do. You want there to be multiple ways to get to 'yes' because you want to encourage risk-taking.'
On making people pay attention: 'You can have the best technology, you can have the best business model, but if the storytelling isn't amazing, it won't matter. Nobody will watch.'
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