Jeff Bezos and Customer Focus: “20 Smartest Quotes”


“In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

How much do you really focus on your customers? Build your business using Jeff Bezos’ revolutionary ideas about retail, marketing, and long-term thinking.

When I first started at 10 years ago, many of the people who knew me best thought I was nuts. “They’ll be dead in a few years,” said one. “Don’t take stock!” said another. “You’re working for who?” said many more. Those conversations certainly changed quite a bit during the years that followed.

As it turned out, hindsight being 20/20 and all that, it was a very, very good move for me, and I’m proud to have been a part of that company’s incredible growth during the aughts. But some of the most memorable highlights of that 9-year tenure involve interactions with Jeff Bezos – at company-wide meetings, in smaller meetings, in emails. He’s bold, and he’s surprising, and he’s extremely smart. Customer focus is his passion, and his emphasis on that accounts for much of Amazon’s success.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you the Motley Fool’s article titled “The 20 Smartest Things Jeff Bezos Has Ever Said.” Some of the quotes are funny, but many are extremely insightful, and turn conventional business thinking on its head. All of them point back to the same central philosophy: start with the customer, and work backwards.

One of the core tenets of’s expectations for its employees is “Be Right, A lot.” Reading through the quotes in this article, it’s not hard to see where that tenet comes from.

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