- Bezos is very smart (summa cum laude from Princeton majoring in electrical engineering and computer science), hard-working, and driven/competitive.
- Right from the beginning, he hired intelligent, well-educated people at low salaries, with the promise that they would participate in changing the world — and maybe become wealthy.
- Like Steve Jobs, he’s very customer-focused and gets the product or service right, including delaying launches (like the Kindle) if necessary.
- He outlawed PowerPoint presentations and instead required his associates to describe their ideas in a narrative (maybe six pages at most).
- Like Jobs, he’s very demanding and, at times, demeaning to his team members.
- To my surprise, he’s very frugal (at least at Amazon).
- He was quick to meet with executives from other tech or retail companies that he perceived to be world-class, and he wasn’t too proud to learn from them.
- The story of the evolution of his fulfillment centers (warehouses or distribution centers) was fascinating — they’re a combination of technology, Dr. W. Edwards Deming thinking, and manual processes. It’s very interesting, especially for those of you who are manufacturers or distributors.
- Like Jobs, Bezos was adopted.
If you’re an entrepreneur or working in a startup business, I recommend reading The Everything Store to get a reality check. Often, companies like Amazon or Nike are glamorized — but in truth, the path to success isn’t very pretty. Although it requires a lot of hard work and luck, there are no guarantees.