Amazon’s focus from day one was as old as it gets. Selection and price. Businesses have pursued the idea for millennia.
Jeff Bezos once explained why this was critical:
“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ That’s a very interesting question. 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. You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon, I just wish the prices were a little higher.’ Or, ‘I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little slower.’ Impossible. So we know the energy we put into these things 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.”
This is one of those important things that’s too basic for most smart people to pay attention to. …
In the last 100 years we’ve gone from horses to jets and mailing letters to Skype. But every sustainable business is accompanied by one of a handful of timeless strategies:
Lower prices. Faster solutions to problems. Greater control over your time. More choices. Added comfort. Entertainment/curiosity. Deeper human interactions. Greater transparency. Less collateral damage. Higher social status. Increased confidence/trust.
You can make big, long-term bets on these things, because there’s no chance people will stop caring about them in the future.
Filing this away.