6 tips from Jeff Bezos' re:MARS fireside chat
Jeff Bezos and Jenny Freshwater spoke on stage at re:MARS 2019. In addition to asking what Jeff would be if Amazon hadn’t worked out (a very happy software engineer), they spoke about Blue Origin and fulfillment centers on the moon. Watch the video for the conversation, or see below for six tips on business.
On builders and dreamers
The dreamers come first. The builders get inspired by them and then the builders build. And the builders build a new foundation that the dreamers can stand on and dream more. The dreamers can’t continue to dream new things until the builders build – they stand on each other’s shoulders.
How to be right, a lot
People who are right a lot, listen a lot. They also change their mind a lot, People who are right a lot change their mind even without getting new data. They have the same data set that they had at the beginning but they wake up and they reanalyze things all the time and they come to a new conclusion and then they change their mind.
Getting support for your ideas
We have a framework at Amazon, it's one of our leadership principles, called Disagree and Commit. If you are the boss, the person you’re talking to may have better ground truth than you. Often the boss should be the one to disagree and commit.
On big bets
A recent one would be Project Kuiper this is our LEO Satellite constellation.Putting thousands of satellites on lower earth orbit is very different from geostationary satellites. You end up servicing the whole world, accessing people who are under-bandwidthed—rural areas, remote areas. Going forward that access to broadband is going to be very close to being a fundamental human need as we move forward.
Knowing when to throw in the towel
Look around the room, when the last high judgment champion has thrown in the towel, it’s time to stop.
On starting a business
The most important thing is to be customer obsessed. Don’t satisfy your customers, figure out how to absolutely delight them. Passion – you’ve got to have some passion for the arena that you’re going to develop and work in. Otherwise you’re going to be competing against people who do have passion for that and they’re going to build better products and services. You have to be willing to take risk. If you’ve come up with a business idea and there’s no risk there, it’s probably already being done. You have to accept that your business is an experiment and it might fail.
Everything I laid out does not have to be at a startup. It works at Amazon, you can work at a Fortune 100 company and you should still have an entrepreneurial mindset. And you should preach and lead that inside your company. You should encourage your teammates to take risks and be customer obsessed. All those things work just as well inside of a company as they do inside of a startup.