Founder and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote annual letters to shareholders and a lot of good business principles can be found in them.
- Jeff Bezos wrote annual letters to shareholders from when Amazon took off in 1997 to when he stepped down as CEO in 2021.
- Within those letters are many prime examples of how Bezos took his business and made it something great.
- The letters helped fuel the public’s love for the company and outline eight ways Bezos was a great leader and took Amazon to the next level.
Why it’s news
Jeff Bezos is an incredibly smart businessman. Every year he wrote a letter to investors and in the collection of letters it reveals just how good of a businessman Bezos was.
He explains his work and vision for Amazon’s future throughout the letters and can give great insight into what other business leaders need to be implementing into their own practices.
“The Bezos letters give us a unique opportunity to see a genius explain his work,” says former Apple executive Jean-Louise Gassee. “The letters would make splendid material for a business school course on strategy and communication.”
The letters give a glimpse into how Bezos took the company to the next level and
BusinessInsider writer Carmine Gallo outlined eight ways in which he did it…
- Made the mission the mantra – Bezos made the mission of becoming the world’s most customer-centric company and made it the mantra.
- Used simple words – Everything was written in simple words to ensure that anyone who read it could understand and feel connected.
- Used active voice – He always used active voiced words instead of passive to make things feel as if they were happening in real time and not the past.
- Metaphors – He frequently used metaphors for business motives.
- Good writing takes time – He understood that good writing takes time and things never needed to be rushed.
- Surrounded with the best – He only surrounded himself with the best people including employees.
- Work backward to get ahead – Bezos encouraged employees to look at things from the customer’s perspective and essentially start from the end user.
- Day 1 culture – He continuously said “It’s always day 1”—meaning the beginning principles are always important even in the end stages.
These eight aspects are what Gallo says Bezos did to take Amazon from the bottom to the top and it’s true.
The big thing Bezos did was make the mission his goal and never stopped. He worked hard and never quit.
Bezos also did everything simple. He did not dumb things down to make anyone feel bad, but he stuck to simple terms so anyone could understand and feel included.
These letters are a good glimpse into how Amazon came to be and Bezos’ methods could be a guidebook to others who want to see a business soar.