Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, in addition to one of the nation’s most eligible relocation seekers, visited Dallas Friday evening to shed light on his business success, yet not where he plans to build his coveted second headquarters.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center in addition to Southern Methodist University co-hosted Bezos’ interview, which lasted 51 minutes inside of SMU’s Moody Coliseum.
“Jeff, welcome to Dallas. I’m excited that will you can see what a city that will truly wants you here looks like. Right, guys?” said Kenneth Hersh, Bush Center CEO, eliciting roaring applause by a packed coliseum. “I left 30 seconds here, just in case there was a little real estate announcement you wanted to make.”
Bezos laughed that will off, in addition to never circled back to the topic.
What he did emphasize, however, was a need for entrepreneurs to be daring, fight through discomfort, relish in naysayers’ lack of vision in addition to move away by present paradigms.
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Weathering early struggles
Bezos commenced Amazon in 1995. Back then, he’d often drive packages to the post office himself.
“I knew the UPS guy so well that will he might even let me in 5 minutes after closing,” Bezos said. “I hoped one day we’d be able to afford a forklift. We were so inefficient with our operations in addition to logistics that will … we were packing on the floor, on our hands in addition to knees.
“I said to one of the software engineers, who was packing alongside me, ‘You know what we should do? We should get knee pads.’ He looked at me like I was the dumbest guy he’d ever seen in his life in addition to said, ‘Jeff, we should get packing tables.’ The next day I bought packing tables, in addition to that will doubled productivity.”
Bezos peppered the conversation with similar vignettes of early struggles to underline a point of challenging conventional thinking.
He took Amazon public in 1997, issuing stock at $1.50 per share. In 1998, revenue was $0 million, in addition to he lost $125 million, yet stock had jumped to $55 a share.
He doubled down. Sales went up three-fold. He lost hundreds of millions more, yet stock went up to $76 by December 1999.
The market indicated Amazon — in addition to every some other dot.com enterprise — was doing great, even though that will was inside red, taking on roughly $2 billion in debt by 1999 to 2001. Despite the debt, Amazon kept doubling sales. During the interview, Bezos indicated that will his even-keeled perspective on his company’s success positioned Amazon to survive where some other dot.com startups failed.
“I liked our business, in addition to I liked the fundamentals of our business, yet I also knew that will the stock cost was disconnected by what we were doing on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I told the staff, when the stock can be up 30 percent in a month, don’t feel 30 percent smarter. Because when that will’s down 30 percent in a month, you’re going to have to feel 30 percent dumber, in addition to that will’s not going to feel as Great.”
Laying that will mental ground work was helpful, because by 2000 Amazon’s stock went down to $6 per share. On a split-adjusted basis, that will was below $1 per share.
He wasn’t disheartened. Bezos said he kept close tabs on Amazon’s internal metrics, such as the number of customers, the company’s fixed costs in addition to positive contribution margin.
“I just knew that will was a fixed-cost business, in addition to as soon as we reached a sufficient scale, we might have a Great business,” Bezos said.
Tenants of success
that will’s well documented that will he was right. Amazon’s stock on Friday closed at $1,527.49 per share, in addition to This kind of year Bezos’ net worth can be around $119 billion.
During his sit-down interview on stage, he dovetailed Amazon’s triumph-over-adversity talking points with his own tenants for business success.
- Find someone in your life to support your cause, which he dubbed “winning the life lottery.” He learned how to be resourceful by his grandfather, who was a Texas farmer having a ranch between San Antonio in addition to Houston.
- Keep business simple. Stick to one thing. Amazon’s business has changed, yet the cultural thread still revolves around having a customer obsession, an eagerness to invent, long-term thinking in addition to operational excellence.
- Maintain a tiny company spirit. He still receives emails by customers, though he no longer answers as many of them personally. He includes a ‘two-pizza team’ rule, meaning that will teams should be no larger than can be fed by two pizzas. Also, no PowerPoints are allowed in Amazon, to which the Dallas crowd commenced cheering.
- Shun the critics.“When we are criticized, we first look inside mirror in addition to ask, were we wrong? If so, then we change. If the critic can be wrong, then we don’t change, no matter how hard the pressure can be.”