Jeff Bezos needs no introduction as the former CEO of Amazon and one of the richest people on the planet. Here are 9 of his best pieces of advice:
As a company grows, everything needs to scale, including the size of your failed experiments. If the size of your failures isn't growing, you're not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle. If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. 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.
I get asked about work-life balance all the time, and my view is that's a debilitating phrase because it implies there's a strict trade-off. It actually is a circle. It's not a balance.
Take risks. You have to be willing to take risks. If you have a business idea with no risk, it's probably already being done. You've got to have something that might not work. It will be, in many ways, an experiment.
The most important thing is to be customer-obsessed. Don't satisfy them, absolutely delight them. Our competitors are never going to send us money. Be afraid of your customers, because those are the folks who have the money.
I make important decisions around 10:30 a.m. I'll discuss it the day before, I'll sleep on it, and in the morning I'll actually make the decision.
If you want to be successful in life, you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. Any business that doesn't create value for those it touches, even if it appears successful on the surface, is on the way out.
We are all taught to 'be yourself.' What I'm really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness. The world wants you to be typical – in a thousand ways, it pulls at you. Don't let it happen.
Long-term thinking levers our existing abilities and lets us do new things we couldn't otherwise contemplate. It supports the failure and iteration required for invention, and it frees us to pioneer in unexplored spaces. Seek instant gratification and chances are you'll find a crowd there ahead of you. Think long-term and do not sacrifice long-term value for short-term results.
The thing that everyone needs to remember is there are many ways to be successful. And trying to read some management book or biography and then running the company that way is going to just create misery for you and everyone around you. Be yourself, and don't try to run this company the way the last person or the person before that or the person before that ran it.
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