New Post: Lessons from Jeff Bezos
Amazon shareholder letters are a treasure trove of insights.
In this article, I attempt to cover some of the lessons I learned from the writings of Jeff Bezos and how I apply them in my life.
I. Create More Than You Consume
If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. Any business that doesn’t create value for those it touches, even if it appears successful on the surface, isn’t long for this world. It’s on the way out.
Rather than passively consuming content and identifying problems, be active and take initiative to create something.
Take ideas in your head into something tangible and real. Be creative.
How I apply this to my life:
A year ago, I started writing online (value in books) to distil lessons from books and share some of my favourite reads.
Writing online has given me many opportunities and increased my surface area for “luck”.
Recently, I created a Youtube channel to share my thoughts in a verbal and visual way, for my readers to feel a greater emotional impact.
Join me on my journey here!
By creating content through writing and making videos online, it has helped to synthesise my learning from various resources.
Compared to passively reading books and watching videos, creating content has brought about immense benefits.
Apart from boosting my creativity skills, it has increased my ability to synthesise my thoughts and connect the dots from various materials I have read.
II. Fight equilibrium. Be distinctive.
Schools churn out graduates who are shaped like “cookie-cutters”, everyone is the same like a factory-made product.
Same degree, same specialization and majors, same modules taken etc.
And upon graduation, the world expects us to get a “normal 9-5 job” sitting in an office, desk-bound most of the time.
But you don’t have to “fit in” to expectations all the time.
Who knows you might be suited for another career path, not the typical 9-5?
Who knows you might end up in a job that is not relevant to your degree?
Be distinctive. Being yourself is worth it, but don’t expect it to be easy or free. You’ll have to put energy into it continuously.
Here is a wise quote from Richard Dawkins on fighting equilibrium.
“For instance, in a dry country, animals and plants work to maintain the fluid content of their cells, work against a natural tendency for water to flow from them into the dry outside world. If they fail they die. More generally, if living things didn’t work actively to prevent it, they would eventually merge into their surroundings, and cease to exist as autonomous beings. That is what happens when they die.” – Richard Dawkins’, The Blind Watchmaker
The world wants us to be “normal” and “typical”.
Don’t let it happen.
III. Take Risks and Experiment
Companies that don’t embrace failure eventually get in a desperate position.
Whereas companies that are making big bets are leaning into the future.
Be nimble and robust. Be quick and innovative, doing new things at high speed is the best defence against the future. Always lean into the future. If you are leaning away from the future, the future is always going to win. – Jeff Bezos
Companies like Amazon have the resources to make “big bets” and invest heavily in new innovative technology that can revolutionise our future.
Taking this analogy of “making bets on the future”, I leave you with a parting question:
How can you take calculated risks and experiment in your life?