How Jeff Bezos made Amazon amazing

Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born in January 12, 1964 and is today an American technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He founded Amazon, the world’s largest online sales company, as well as provider of cloud infrastructure services.

In the beginning, the Word

Jeff Bezos is first and foremost, a writer, using it to leverage his company’s management and goals.

Before meetings, all his company’s members would read, reflect and analysz printed – not electronic – pages in total silence, for half an hour.

They would then scribble their thoughts on the meeting in the margins, while other members would just wait in the margins of the meeting.

“We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards…That becomes the touchstone for how we invent.”

He found that the documents, or “narratives” in communal reading help to strengthen the executives’ attention and bring them closer. It paves the way for better reflection and opens the door to spirited discussion.

He sums up why he is particular about reading and writing.

Jeff Bezos Quotes

By writing down everything, the scribblers are drawn into a cycle of self-reflection on difficult questions.

The huge successes of Jeff

Bezos also founded aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000, bought The Washington Post for US$250 million and manages business investments through his venture capital fund titled Bezos Expeditions.

Called the ‘first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index’ he became the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018, outrunning Bill Gates.

Out-of-the-box thinking

Jeff Bezos thinks big and differently and all the time.

Reflection on what makes Amazon different, unique, and has potential is key to its growth. He once said: “We have to have a differentiated idea.”

It can’t be a ‘me too’ offering.” He explained that while the successful are gifted with large businesses that got constructed over time, it would benefit everyone to reach self-development only if it is big.

We can’t afford to put our energies into something that if it works, it’s still going to be small. … Even at substantial scale, it has to have good returns on capital,” he pointed out.

Time for self-reflection

Jeff Bezos sets aside down time for self-reflection. “My puttering time is very important to me,” he told David Rubenstein, the billionaire founder of Carlyle Group.

“I go to bed early, I get up early. So, I like to putter in the morning. I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee. I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school.”

Even though his management technique is innovative and time-consuming, Bezos is forcing his executives to think through self-reflection and arrive at decisions for self-development.

So if an author is writing, he has to do it within a framework of structure and analysis.

How it all began?

Jeff Bezos remembers that his father inspired him with his sheer grit. Even at 12, he designed a survey to rate his teachers, which reveals his habits of self-reflection.

Bezos started his internet business in 1994, while surfing the Internet to search for new ventures. He read that World Wide Web usage was expanding growth by 2,300 percent every month. It made him reach inside himself for self-development.

Forward thinking paves the road to success

Bezos is careful to build up his successful ventures much ahead of time.

Jeff Bezos Quotes

Jeff Bezos was careful to go deep with pre-planning, in order to build up his future success.

As he put it once, he often gets congratulated after a quarterly-earnings announcement, with his friends saying: ‘Good job, great quarter.’” To that, Bezos just replied: “Thank you, but that quarter was baked three years ago.’ I’m working on a quarter that’ll happen in 2021 right now.”

Bezos’ early life

Four-year-old Jeff Bezos was adopted by an immigrant Cuban father, but received a good upbringing. His own divorce from Mackenzie after 25 years of marriage threw a startling problem to him in his life, but the couple came to an amicable agreement.

Currently, Bezos’ massive wealth is a big challenge for him.

Known for being frugal and cutting costs, Jeff Menzos is not exactly a popular or highly loved employer. Still, Bezos makes some wise moves to resolve his conflicts.

Apart from founding the world’s largest online retail unit, Jeff Bezos is also trying to colonize space, for which he started Blue Origin and is keeping it running by spending $1 billion worth of Amazon stock for it.

He has acknowledged that exploring space beyond the earth is his priority now. He launched his first Blue Origin test flight successfully in 2015 and a commercial suborbital human spaceflight is expected to be launched soon.

He said Blue Origin was “the most important work I’m doing … I don’t want my great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to live in a civilization of stasis.”

How you can get started with self reflection?

Looking for an easy way to get started with your self-development practice?

Try out Jeff Bezos’ powerful techniques of reading, writing and self-reflection, which helped him to introspect and analyse.

Daylitude can help shift your mindset, increase positivity, and discover a greater connection with yourself.


Interested in other self reflection and gratitude practices?