Jeff Bezos on Day 2

Jeff Bezos may not be the most likable guy on the planet, but he is one of the most successful in organizing people around a vision.  In his letter to shareholders, he makes this interesting comment

Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.

That sounds bad. As You might imagine, Jeff is obsessed with keeping Amazon on Day 1.  So how do you do it?`If this topic interests you, check out Jeff’s letter.

The most basic point is that businesses are focused. if they lose focus, they move to day 2. Maintaining a focus is the first step to staying on day 1. BTW, human nature abhors this type of extended focus. Which is why managers need to be very skilled in crafting messages that justify the effort to resist drifting.

Jeff argues that the most logical focus point is the customer. After all, the customer is the person who you hope will reach into his pocket (or her bag), pull out a wallet, and part with cash for whatever it is that you have on offer.

Many firms scoff at this. Why? Because it is possible to thrive by making sure customers have limited choices for items that they feel they must buy. Clever! One way to do this is to find ways to make the produce very expensive to manufacture. That becomes a “barrier to entry” which leads to a nice life if you can get it.  And while you are sailing your yacht around the Carribean, who cares what customers think of you?

Jeff makes an interesting comment about this. His point is that customers are unhappy even when they report that they are happy.  In other words, they ALWAYS want something better. Very interesting. I would put it this way, there is no limit to the value that can be added from collaboration.

That is a pretty amazing statement. So amazing that I will stop here top reflect on it some more.

Check out Jeff’s letter! He writes well!


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