I have watched this interview 4 times. I can think of no more valuable – or inspiring – way to spend 40 minutes than in the company of Charlie Rose and Jeff Bezos.
This interview took place last week (October 27) at NY’s Economic Club. Unfortunately, I have not found a youtube video of the talk yet but the link above works.
Bezos shares his motivations and his thoughts on Amazon’s culture, philosophies and principals.
And below, are 5 quotes/insights from the interview that I hope will encourage you to watch it in its entirety.
1. ALWAYS Customer obsession over competitor obsession.
2. Utilize a “working backwards” process – it’s key to operational excellence, finding defects and fixing root causes of problems and importantly, uncovering what the consumer wants next.
3. Their “inventive” culture (vs. a close-follower culture), has given them a 2-3 year runway on most projects before competitors catch on. With AWS (Amazon Web Services) they got a remarkable 7-year runway before like-minded competitors got in. (AWS was originally developed for their internal engineering teams.)
4. In entertainment, they’ve attracted A-List talent with their focused, narrower goal of making “somebody’s” favorite show vs. broadcast TV’s typical business model of making somebody’s 3rd favorite show.
5. BLUE ORIGIN (space exploration): Bezos’ childhood dream, since he was 5 yrs old
“You don’t chose your passions, your passions choose you”
His motivation for going into space is to preserve the earth. He envisions moving all heavy industry into space e.g. in space, solar energy is available 24/7.
Explains how he was able to start Amazon with just 4 people and no money because he didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting related to infrastructure e.g. USPS for shipping, internet cables, payment systems thru credit cards were all existing.
His life goal is to develop the infrastructure for the next generation of entrepreneurs to be able to build/develop businesses that will operate in space.