Jeff Bezos sharing some wisdom

…at the 2012 re:Invent fireside chat with Amazon’s CTO, Werner Vogels.

Full video here.

My sporadic notes here. Mostly his words, with some editorializing and annotation:

  • Flywheels are important (I take this to mean something that will gain speed over time)
  • Some things won’t change in 10 years – focus on those. For example: people will always want cheaper prices, faster & better service
  • If you’re ok being misunderstood for long periods of time, you can ramp up your rate of experimentation
  • It’s easy to invent new things that customers don’t care about
  • It’s all about rate of innovation (echoes Eric Ries and his quote about moving through the build-measure-learn feedback loop as quickly as possible)
  • Used to be 30% product, 70% promotion/service; now it’s 70% product, 30% promotion/service
  • Bezos does front line work from time to time, e.g. on factory floor, in call center
  • 10K year clock is about long-term thinking. If I asked you to solve world hunger in 5 years, you’d say no way. But if I asked you to solve world hunger in 100 years, you’d think about it. The problem is the same, but the timeframe has changed
  • If you wanted to catch a wave, you’ll never do it. What you should do is position yourself and catch the wave
  • Missionaries build better products. I’ll take a missionary over a mercenary any day
  • Passion and customer centricity will take you an awful long way

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