The Power of Thinking Long-Term

AmazonAmazon is an unusual company. It focuses on the long-term (typically 10 to 20 years) instead of short term (typically quarterly earnings). For example, in talking about the Kindle, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, offers the following insight:

Go back in time when we started working on Kindle almost seven years ago.  There you just have to place a bet. If you place enough of those bets, and if you place them early enough, none of them are ever betting the company. By the time you are betting the company, it means you haven’t invented for too long. If you invent frequently and are willing to fail, then you never get to that point where you really need to bet the whole company. AWS also started about six or seven years ago. We are planting more seeds right now, and it is too early to talk about them, but we are going to continue to plant seeds. And I can guarantee you that everything we do will not work. And, I am never concerned about that…. We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details…. We don’t give up on things easily. Our third-party seller business is an example of that. It took us three tries to get the third-party seller business to work. We didn’t give up.

How big is Amazon today? 500friends put together a helpful infographic that gives you some perspective.

how_big_is_amazon_infographic

What can you learn from Amazon that you can apply to your own business?