Tips from the top: Jeff Bezos on Amazon

By Sharon Fussell, November 18, 2011

Amazon just seems to grow and grow, they buy up floundering businesses and incorporate them. The name ‘Amazon’ appears everywhere from books and films to advertising and TV. It seems, these days, that most people the world over associate buying books primarily with Amazon.

Of course I hope this continues – when you make your living from such a massive global site, the bigger it gets, the bigger you get!

Recently, Steve Levy, from Forbes the investors online newsletter, conducted a really interesting interview with Jeff Bezos (if you have no clue who Jeff Bezos is, no worries, he’s just the CEO of Amazon!)

That interview is ‘SIX Things Jeff Bezos Knew Back in 1997 That Made Amazon a Gorilla’ and can be found in full here.

What I want to quickly draw your attention to are the ‘6 key things’ Bezos highlights as critical to the company’s success:

“1. When you have a window of opportunity, go for the jugular – even if you have to exhaust a huge number of resources.

2. Think long-term meaning 5 – 7 years, not 5 – 7 months.

3. Long-term market share is more important than short-term profits because without long-term market share there will be no long-term profits.

4. It’s ok to make mistakes but it’s not ok to be timid.

5. Obsess over Customers.

6. Be first in a big market.”


Personally I thought this was a really interesting article – and well worth reading – but those points which stood out to me as being particularly relevant to Amazon sellers such as you and I were as follows:

Try to think Ahead

Making money in business is often slow at first as you begin to learn your craft and build your inventory. Selling books online is never going to be a get rich quick scheme.

The best way to begin making extra income is to do just that; make a start. Before you know it you will realise that you are making extra income, but it will not happen unless you make it happen.

‘It’s ok to make mistakes but it’s not ok to be timid’.

Yes, you will make mistakes as you learn your craft, but the great thing about selling books online is that it’s unlikely to bankrupt you as the outlay is reasonably small.

‘… the best customer service experience is when they never have to contact you’

I embrace Amazon’s customer service culture and so should you, indeed, customer service is vitally important to your business. It’s true few customers ever feel the need to contact me, and I can see by feedback that the vast majority of my customers are happy with my service.

‘… online bookselling, and online commerce in general, should prove to be a very large market, and it’s likely that a number of companies will see significant benefit’

I for one have benefited from Amazon as a buyer, purchasing low cost good quality items for myself and as gifts. And of course -as you well know – I have also benefited (and continue to do so) as a seller, and I hope you do too!

Don’t forget to read the original article… it really is rather inspirational and very informative, and do let me know what you think!


What do you think?

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