So I was just reading about some little company named “Amazon” that just blew away their projected sales for this quarter, and Wall Street is all hot & bothered about it (As Wall Street does).
More importantly, this surge in share prices just put Amazon founder Jeff Bezos within a mere $5 billion dollars away from being the world’s richest man (So, you know, if you have an extra $5 bill laying around, hit the brotha up).
What’s interesting is that Jeff Bezos and Amazon are only having this level of success now because he ignored a lot of very smart people in the past.
Specifically, he ignored the investors, hedge fund managers and Wall Street dudes who wanted him to focus on short term profits above all else (As Wall Street also does).
In his now-famous 1997 letter to shareholders Bezos outlined his plans for world domination:
We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly greater returns on invested capital.
Which is a very shareholder lettery-y way of saying “We’re in this for long term domination, not short term profits”.
This kind of long-term strategic vision is why Amazon is still around, while so many other internet companies from that era (Lycos, Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape) are gone or struggling.
If you’re looking for ways to build a successful business, you could do a lot worse than model the thinking of the (almost) richest guy in the world.
Anyway, just some food for thought. I’m off to go personally contribute to raising Amazon’s stock price by feeding my raging Kindle book addiction.