On a long walk across Central Park, owner of Bankers Trust, D.E Shaw tried in vain to convince Jeff Bezos not to quit the hedge fund firm.
But, the young Bezos knew that the internet boom, which was at the time growing at a rate of 2,400% annually, offered far better opportunities.
Even though, the internet was relatively new, Jeff Bezos knew that his greatest regret would be to not try.
He quit Bankers Trust to start Amazon.com selling pot-bellied stoves and used books. And the rest as they say is history.
Today, Bezos is one of the most influential leaders of the 21st century and among the richest men in the world with an estimated net worth of $28.8 billion.
Here’s what Bezos does to stay productive and to run a profitable business:
Among Amazon employees, Bezos is best known for his ‘two pizzas rule”—a peculiar but effective way to ensure that meetings stay as nimble as possible for greater productivity.
Earlier on at Amazon, Bezos realized how much time teams wasted on non-productive meetings. In most of those meetings, attendees would just agree to the most dominant ideas and would not propose their own—there was no creativity or innovation, just a waste of time.
Bezos introduced the two pizzas rule:
Never have meetings where two pizzas cannot feed the team. This way, employees would only hold small, necessary meetings where innovative ideas would be developed.
With over 80,000 employees working for Amazon, this is how Bezos ensures that teams waste as little time as possible, while still encouraging innovation within the company.
Bezos is unafraid of failure. He knows that only by taking action will he be able to bring his visions to fruition.
If you decide that you will only do those things that have a higher likelihood of working, you are going to miss a lot of opportunities, say Bezos.
The fact that he left his job as a hedge fund manager to start a company that he was not sure would work is a good example of his commitment to taking action.
From Amazon Marketplace, to AmazonFresh, to Amazon Web Services among many of its subsidiaries, Bezos faced eminent challenges but he still took action to bring these products/services to life.
According to Inc.com, Jeff Bezos is the only ‘father of the dot-com boom who is still innovating.”
A good example of Jeff’s sense of constant innovation is Blue Origin, a space tourism company that some might say is certainly ahead of its time.
Other daring innovations is AmazonFresh, an online groceries delivery company.
Although the groceries industry is a $603 billion business, profit margins are small. Bezos still went ahead to set up an online delivery service that now serves Seattle and many zip codes in Los Angeles.
Constant, seemingly outrageous innovation is how Bezos manages to stay ahead of his game.
Bezos is known for his stubbornness when it comes to pursuing an idea.
It is common for entrepreneurs to jump from one idea to the next and accomplish nothing at the end of the day.
Persistence and sticking it out is one of the best ways to successfully get things done.
One of the most geeky and interesting processes Bezos came up with was called the ‘women flow’ much like the Deal Flow, a term used among finance specialists to track the rate at which they receive investment proposals.
The ‘women flow’ was Bezos’s eccentric system of choosing a ‘resourceful partner.” He says that hanging out with people who are not resourceful is a waste of time.
The Amazon founder is also rigorous with the people he brings to work at the company.
“I would rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person,” he asserts.
In sum, your productivity largely depends on the people you spend most time with. Hangout with productive people and you will inevitably accomplish more than you could ever have in a crowd of unmotivated, unimaginative people.
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