INSTANT MBA: Accept Negative Feedback — You’re Better Off In The Long Run

Jeff Bezos

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Today’s advice comes from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon: “[W]e allow negative customer reviews on the website. In the early days, I’d get complaints from mostly book publishers because we were mostly books at the time, and they would say: ‘You don’t understand your business. You make money when you sell things. Why don’t you delete the negative customer reviews?’

“And our thought on that is very different. We think we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions. And that’s different. It’s point of view.

“There’s a great Allen Kay quote, he said, ‘Point of view is worth 80 IQ points.’ And if your point of view is I’m going to be long-term oriented, then that long-term orientation allows you to align your behaviours and your activities with your customers. Because in the long term, take a sufficiently long investment horizon, customers and shareholders are very aligned.

“If you’re trying to optimise things for the next three months, then you would go get rid of all the negative customer reviews, because for three months, your sales would go up. But if you’re really focused on the long term, you want to help people make purchase decisions, and people will say, ‘This is a very useful site because it helps you make purchase decisions.'”

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