Jeff Bezos Interview

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Interview of Jeff Bezos at the Economic Club of Washington



Some of my key takeaways:

  • Obsessive compulsive focus on the customer vs focus on competitors
  • Using heart, intuition and guts to making decisions. Analytics and data are useful as well, but the most important decisions will be made with the former
  • He commented on his acquisition of the Washington Post that the internet destroys most things for newspapers, but gives one gift: free global distribution. This enables a shift in the revenue model. They can now charge a little bit from a lot of customers globally.
  • There are many different types of smart. Its not just about academics
  • At the peak of the dot com boom, Amazon share price was $113 which swiftly went to $6. Jeff Bezos talks about how the stock is not the company and the company is not the stock. Even though the price collapsed, all the business metrics were going in the right direction.
  • On Amazon Prime: They were looking for a loyalty program. The financials looks terrible because shipping is incredibly expensive. Here is where heart and intuition took a role.
  • If a quarter is good, it is baked in three years ago. Today he is focused on success 3 years from today
  • Physical stores: No point offering a me-too product. Amazon Go and Amazon Books are a very differentiated offering
  • There are two types of founders: Missionaries and Mercenaries. Mercenaries are trying to flip their company while missionaries are more passionate about serving their customers better
  • Whole foods: They are a missionary company and Amazon can augment their mission and add value in different ways
  • In AWS, they got extremely lucky in that they had no competition for seven years. You are lucky in most businesses when you get a two year head start
  • On regulation: It is natural for big institutions to be cross examined. Bezos is of the view that no matter the regulation, customers are still going to want low prices, fast delivery times and big selection and Amazon will continue to deliver that.

About the author

Rishad is the founder of Kairos Capital. He started his career with Standard Chartered Wealth Management and has extensive experience in markets, particularly in terms of mutual funds and stocks.

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