Aside from his analytical mindset, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is methodical and a highly intelligent entrepreneur.
Not only did he create the everything store, but Bezos’ entrepreneurial prowess is second to none. His unique leadership qualities, critical thinking skills, obsession with customers, and passion for innovation have contributed to turning Amazon into a billion dollar retail business. Plus, they have helped him win big in his other ventures: aerospace and newspaper.
Here are four business lessons entrepreneurs can learn from this business magnate.
Many would-be entrepreneurs get stuck in the bondage of procrastination, thinking that building a company requires millions of dollars, an MBA degree, and a ton of time, energy, and resources.
But it doesn’t.
Bezos didn’t start Amazon after earning an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He didn’t build Amazon after receiving millions of dollars from investors. He didn’t launch Amazon after spending tons of hours writing the company’s business plan.
Instead, the quick-to-laugh brainiac entrepreneur drafted the Amazon’s business plan as his wife drove him off to Seattle—the company’s headquarters—to breathe life into his crazy Internet idea. Through his Regret Minimization Framework (the idea that it’s better to try now than to regret not trying later), Bezos launched Amazon in a garage without much thinking and took off, which is a great lesson that every entrepreneur should learn.
Customers are Kings
“Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient,” said Bezos.
His point is this: your business exists because of your customer. Therefore, everything you do must appeal to the consumer.
Founders often spend time tweaking their company’s landing page, designing a fancy logo, branding their business…but they ignore the most important aspect that will power their startup…customers.
They shouldn’t be ignored, because they’re the kings, and everything you do must appeal to them. Bezos said in his interview with Charlie Rose, “We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with the customer and we work backward.”
That speaks volumes to Amazon’s success at not only attracting new customers but also retaining the existing ones.
Be Willing to Invent
Bezos is a masterful inventor. In 1994, Amazon started as an online bookstore and 23 years later, the ecommerce site has turned into everything store, selling everything you can think of: CDs, tissues, greeting cards, shoes, vegetables, and even Amazon Web Service(s).
Read more about Jeff Bezos and his obsession with space travel
If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to expand your customer base, you must keep inventing newer products and services for your consumers. If not, they’ll leave you and join your competitor.
Be Stubborn and Flexible at the Same Time
The one thing that makes or breaks an entrepreneur’s business is the entrepreneur himself.
Founders who give up easily can never realize their vision, and founders who don’t bend to new technology and trends or adjust to customer needs will eventually fail. Entrepreneurs need to be both stubborn and flexible at the same time, no matter what.
When referring to his company, Bezos said, “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.” Why?
“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon,” said Bezos. “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.”
The big lesson here for entrepreneurs is this: You can redesign your product. You can pivot on your original strategies. But you can never dilute your vision.