Jeff Bezos thinks in the long term. It’s clear from his business model, and from his own words in quotes and books; he’s all about pursuing an enduring foundational strength. For Amazon, that means low prices for online shopping and delivery, but if you can take a step back and look at his statements and advice from a broad standpoint, it’s easy to see how you might apply a Bezos-inspired strategy to other industries.
What’s not going to change?
“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.” – Jeff Bezos
He goes on to explain that the abiding truth of Amazon is that customers are always going to want their goods delivered at low cost. So Bezos set about the long-term goal of bringing down costs. This meant building a hugely expensive framework of internet and shipping infrastructure, but the investment is well spent because he knows that in ten years low-cost online shopping delivery will still be in demand. Whatever does change in the next ten years, Amazon will be able to cope with because of their devotion to that foundational service.
Other companies can be seen doing similar things. Google’s core efforts are in their search engine, providing the best experience possible. Everything else stems from that, because internet search is reliable and stable. In ten years people are going to want the same basic things from search that they want today: relevance, thoroughness, speed, etc. Some aspects may change, but they can absolutely rely on those constants.
Similarly, Uber is banking on the fact that people will continue to need low cost transportation. They’re building complex algorithms to control ridesharing and transportation management. Though the cars may change in the next ten years, the core principles of low-cost, convenient transportation aren’t going anywhere.
WhatsApp is another great example, focusing on low-cost, ad-free communication. Their business strategy was very stable, which may explain why it required such an exorbitant price for Facebook to acquire them last year—but even then, the strategy hasn’t changed.
Long-term investment vs. the Startup
“We know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.” – Jeff Bezos
For startups, this kind of advice can seem daunting. Amazon has spent billions investing in the long-term resources and infrastructure that will carry them forward. Obviously a startup doesn’t have those resources, but that doesn’t mean the essence of the strategy can’t carry on.
Startups usually dedicate their efforts to innovation and rapid growth in a target market. That’s phase one, and the long-term stability of that target market is crucial to your success, but your main focus is in finding customers and generating interest in the product. The Jeff Bezos strategy means transitioning out of that startup phase and finding your foundation—what can you rely on to carry your business in ten years time?
It’s never too early to start thinking about these things—though the execution of those long-term strategies might be a distant priority you are still a new company focusing on growth. At that point, you need to focus on awareness and user acquisition tactics like social media marketing, growth hacking, or clever business partnerships. Software Developers India specializes in this phase of startup growth generation, offering marketing and SEO expertise alongside a suite of web and mobile design & development services.
Once we get you on your feet, though, it’s up to you to find and pursue that long-term foundation for your company to revolve around.
You can get in touch with our marketing strategists at 408.802.2885 or via email at email@example.com.