A Bezos Style World Domination Video
December 4, 2015
Oh, 1999, what a year that was! It was full of people afraid of Y2K, TV was still analog, email was still a novelty, and AOL still reigned as the supreme Web browser. Nobody really knew what Amazon was as many people did their online shopping on individual Web sites or on eBay. Recode takes a look at a video blast from the past in “Watch Jeff Bezos Lay Out His Grand Vision For Amazon’s Future Dominance In This 1999 Video.”
In 1999, Amazon was a four-year-old company with $1 billion in annual sales. It started out primarily selling books, CDs, and movies. The Jeff Bezos video is of a talk he gave at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting, it played on Book TV and nobody watches that, which it is why it probably has gone unnoticed for so long. While it is a good retrospect about how the company has grown, it also offers some useful information for business entrepreneurs. The entire video is fifty-five minutes long, but the article contains some of Bezos’s best quotes. Our favorite is this one about favoring growth versus profits:
“Amazon.com is a famously unprofitable company. And the question is: Are we concerned about it? The answer is, in the short term, no; and in the long term, of course. Every company needs to be profitable at some point in time … Our strategy and we’ve consistently articulated this, is that we believe that this opportunity is so large that it would be a mistake for any management team not to invest in it very aggressively at this kind of critical category formation stage. We don’t claim it’s the right strategy. We just claim it’s ours. But we do think it’s right. And that it would be a mistake to try to optimize for short-term profitability.”
Jeff Bezos’s advice about favoring growth versus short-term profit definitely worked for him. Amazon is one of the world’s retailers and it is still growing. It is set to dominate TV, software-as-a-surface, and air delivery.
Whitney Grace, December 4, 2015