Jeff Bezos

If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon (or less), then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time […]. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long-term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.

Jeff Bezos

If you want to build a successful, sustainable business, don’t ask yourself what could change in the next ten years that could affect your company. Instead, ask yourself what won’t change, and then put all your energy and effort into those things.

The Role of Finance in Successful Serial M&A

What characteristics do successful “serial acquirers” often share? One is the vital role of the finance function in post-merger integration. Following a survey of executives at merger and acquisition (M&A)-focused companies in 12 countries and 21 industries, Accenture identified five critical M&A attributes, each of which demands top performance from finance people and systems.

Jeff Bezos

There are two ways to build a successful company. One is to work very, very hard to convince customers to pay high margins. The other is to work very, very hard to be able to afford to offer customers low margins. They both work.

Jeff Bezos

Our version of a perfect customer experience is one in which our customer doesn’t want to talk to us. Every time a customer contacts us, we see it as a defect. I’ve been saying for many, many years, people should talk to their friends, not their merchants. And so we use all of our customer service information to find the root cause of any customer … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

Every new business we’ve ever engaged in has initially been seen as a distraction by people externally, and sometimes even internally.

Jeff Bezos

It helps to base your strategy on things that won’t change. When I’m talking with people outside the company, there’s a question that comes up very commonly: “What’s going to change in the next five to ten years?” But I very rarely get asked “What’s not going to change in the next five to ten years?” At Amazon we’re always trying to figure that out, … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

A lot of our energy and drive as a company, as a culture, comes from trying to build these customer-focused strategies. And actually I do think they work better in fast-changing environments, for two reasons. First, customer needs change more slowly—assuming you pick the right ones—than a lot of other things. Second, close following doesn’t work as well in a fast-changing environment. The strategic value … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

I think most big errors are errors of omission rather than errors of commission. They are the ones that companies never get held to account for—the times when they were in a position to notice something and act on it, had the skills and competencies or could have acquired them, and yet failed to do so. It’s the opposite of sticking to your knitting: It’s … [ Read more ]