If anyone in the world deserves to be a little lazy and complacent, it’s Jeff Bezos. Besides single-handedly changing the way the world shops, he’s the richest person on the planet with a personal net worth of $114 billion. But that’s not in the Amazon founder’s DNA. It just isn’t in him to stop innovating.
Amazon scores well in customer feedback. But, that’s also no reason to stop working hard to win over your customers. In his annual letter to shareholders, Bezos pointed out that the demands of customers increase all the time.
“One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static — they go up. It’s human nature.”
Bezos went on to state that the progress humans have made from the days of the hunter gatherers to now was not made because people were satisfied. He’s right. Fire wasn’t discovered because people thought things were great the way they were. Cars and air travel and the Internet and cell phones—all of those things were created because someone saw the advantage to progress in their own dissatisfaction.
“People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary.'” he wrote.
Bezos pointed out that as technology advances, customers demand more and want it quicker. That means that companies must adapt rapidly to meet the demands or be left behind when customers find what they are looking for somewhere else.
Customers won’t let you rest on your laurels.
“We’ve had some successes over the years in our quest to meet the high expectations of customers,” Bezos wrote. “We’ve also had billions of dollars’ worth of failures along the way.”
One of Bezos’ big successes is Amazon Prime. Prime now has more than 100 million subscribers across the world. The shareholder letter was the first time that Amazon has ever disclosed how many people pay for Prime. Bezos also explained how much Prime has grown since it started in 2005. Prime now offers same day and one day shipping alongside its regular two-day shipping. In 2017, five billion items were bought and shipped using Amazon Prime.
I can’t wait to see what Bezos launches next. I just got an Amazon echo and feel like I’m living in the “Jetsons.”