20 Pithy Quotes From Jeff Bezos: On Customers, Taking Risks And What Really Grinds His Gears

Zinger Key Points
  • "It's not an experiment if you know it's going to work."
  • “What's dangerous is not to evolve.”

Jeff Bezos launched the world’s most successful e-commerce platform with Amazon.com AMZN.

He aimed for the stars and took some rich tourists along for the ride with this aerospace company Blue Orbit. He purchased one of the world’s most influential newspapers with the Washington Post, and was the world’s richest person until a car salesman from South Africa chalked up a few more dollars to snatch that golden crown.

Clearly, Bezos seems to know what he’s doing. And perhaps those among us hoping to follow in his footsteps can gain some much-needed insight from his words of wisdom on a few key subjects.

On Understanding Customers

• “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.”

• “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

• “I don't think that you can invent on behalf of customers unless you're willing to think long-term, because a lot of invention doesn't work. If you're going to invent, it means you're going to experiment, and if you're going to experiment, you're going to fail, and if you're going to fail, you have to think long term.”

• “If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word-of-mouth is so very, very powerful.”

• “If your customer base is aging with you, then eventually you are going to become obsolete or irrelevant. You need to be constantly figuring out who are your new customers and what are you doing to stay forever young.”

See Also: 10 Weirdest Facts About The American Revolution: Jefferson, Betsy Ross And The Ethiopian Regiment

On The Dangers Of Playing It Safe

• "It's not an experiment if you know it's going to work."

• "If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table."

• "If you're not stubborn, you'll give up on experiments too soon. And if you're not flexible, you'll pound your head against the wall and you won't see a different solution to a problem you're trying to solve."

• “If you can't tolerate critics, don't do anything new or interesting.”

• “What's dangerous is not to evolve.”

On What Grinds His Gears

• “I don't know about you, but most of my exchanges with cashiers are not that meaningful.”

• “Beautiful speech doesn't need protection, it's ugly speech that needs protection. We have these cultural norms that allow people to say really ugly things. You don't have to invite them to your dinner party, but you should let them say it.”

• “Mediocre theoretical physicists make no progress. They spend all their time understanding other people's progress.”

• “I definitely believe people should pay for copyrighted works. And the laws are sufficient: They already require you to pay for copyright work. There's no confusion. The problem is ... it's a heck of a lot easier to steal MP3s than to buy them.”

• “You're not going to make Hemingway better by adding animations.”

On How He Achieved His Goals

• “Luck plays an outsized role in every endeavor, and I can assure you we’ve had a bountiful supply.”

• “I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

• “All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts ... not analysis.”

• “Life's too short to hang out with people who aren't resourceful.”

• “In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

Photo: George W. Bush Center/Flickr Creative Commons.

See Also: Jeff Bezos $500M Superyacht Is Stuck In Dutch City: Here's How It Happened And Why Locals Are Outraged

Posted In: customer servicee-commerceJeff BezosNewsMovers & ShakersGeneral

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