He does not have wealth like Bill Gates, the charisma of Steve Jobs or the popularity of some other entrepreneurs who have become role models for businessmen all over the world. However, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon perhaps not only deserves to be in that elite group, but also deserves to top the list of successful entrepreneurs who gave the world some of its biggest lessons in entrepreneurship. Any serious businessman would find these 5 business lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos too valuable to ignore.
[Image Source:- Wikipedia]
1-Learn where to be flexible and where to be rigid:
According to Bezos, every business should be flexible and rigid at the right places. Amazon was stubborn and rigid with its vision, but flexible with the details. The difficulty which most businessmen face is figuring out where to be rigid and where to be flexible.
Being flexible with vision is like trying to get somewhere with a monkey behind the wheel. Even with the best road conditions and the best vehicle, it is difficult to reach where you want. Getting rigid with the details is like having the best car and the best driver, but trying to drive on train tracks. You are not going to get too far this way either.
Being inflexible with details and methods will prevent you from finding easy solutions to problems, resulting in wastage of time and denting your competitive edge. Being flexible with the vision will prevent you from moving towards your long term goals effectively because you will tend to change directions at the slightest obstacle and give up on your experiments without really trying hard enough. Good leaders and entrepreneurs never lose sight of or compromise on their vision, but are flexible when it comes to the details.
2-Do not let too many cooks spoil the broth:
Teamwork is the backbone of projects, finding improvements and experiments. However, there is a point beyond which increase in team sizes results in negative returns. This is because large teams often lead to more opinions, debates, less efficiency and reduced output.
Jeff Bezos believes in the “2 pizza rule” for team size. According to him, the ideal team size is one which can be fed with just two pizzas. So team sizes of about seven are ideal to reap all the benefits of teamwork without losing out on efficiency. Successful features such as the Gold Box at Amazon were created by such 2 pizza teams.
3-Innovate – Keep looking for new ideas, new products and services:
Some companies prefer to focus on small product ranges, one example is Apple. Amazon on the other hand offers many different products and services. This kind of diversity can only come from inventions and inventions come only with a lot of experimentation.
Bezos believes that the love for inventions and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Inventors and entrepreneurs both love to build or try new things, whether it is new machines, products or business ideas. Experimentation and invention is in the blood of entrepreneurs. They love challenges, new ideas and brainstorming. Inventions and experimentation is essential for human progress.
4-Keep experimenting – Things can always be improved:
New ideas and inventions come only with experimentation. Bezos once said that if you want to double your ability to generate new ideas and inventions, you must do twice the experiments that you are doing now.
Amazon experimented with most things ranging from shipping policies to advertising methods. Most businessmen will agree that for a business to keep its competitive edge, it needs to come up with new ideas and improvements through continuous experimentation. The products of the best organizations that we see around us reflect the continuous experimentation and innovation that goes into them.
According to Bezos, any idea is worth experimenting if its results can be measured. Not all experiments succeed and Amazon has a long list of failed experiments, but nothing was ever achieved without risks. The cost of not experimenting is much higher than the cost of failures.
5-Have a long-term vision and base it on things that are unlikely to change:
One thing that all highly successful entrepreneurs have in common is their ability to think ahead of their times. Business is like a game of chess, those who just react to what is happening around them rarely win the game. You have to think ahead many moves or think years in advance. One quality of Jeff Bezos that no one should miss is his focus on the long-term.
In 1994 when Amazon started its retail business, computers were not so common or powerful and the internet as we know it today was in its infancy. When he was raising money for his venture, Bezos had a tough time convincing investors about his idea of selling products through the internet. However, it was his long-term vision which allowed Amazon to get well ahead of the competition in the online retail business.
Having a long-term vision is one thing and selling it to others is another. Bezos says that being misunderstood over long periods of time is part of building something new. According to him the best way to make sure you are on the right track is to bet on things that are not likely to change.
Those who bet on things that are not likely to change are more confident about their vision and are able to put more energy into working towards it. One thing that is not going to change is the desire for everyone to make their lives easier. People are always looking for better quality, better features, cheaper products and easier way of doing things. Innovations which address these aims are bound to succeed. When Apple brought touchscreen to mobile phones, the high cost did not come in the way of its popularity because it gave people an easier and better way of using a phone.
Jeff Bezos believes that every businessman should check where they are focusing their energies today. Is it on something that people will care about in the long run? If not, it is time to rethink your vision and focus on things that will matter in the long-term.
There are many more takeaways from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos other than these 5 business lessons discussed above, but these are probably the most important things that every businessman should learn from him. Considering that he is still young, we can expect a lot more from him over the years irrespective of how high his vision takes him.
Author Bio:- Tom Jones contributed this guest post for make-a-web-site.com – see here their site for information on their create a website.