People love Amazon because it dedicates its existence to its customers. To keep customers happy, they need a relentless focus on trying new ideas. Amazon is a pioneer in the retail business. Why? Because it breaks and builds new doors to success. Automation is the death of a business. It happens when you give responsibility to processes instead of the people to improve the company. Amazon became Amazon by focusing on the outcome. They always put customers first. For example, a customer received an email from Amazon that read, “We noticed that you experienced poor video playback while watching the following rental on Amazon Video On Demand: Casablanca. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and have issued you a refund for the following amount: $2.99. We hope to see you again soon.” Amazon could do this by committing to customer satisfaction for the long-term. They believe in their longevity. A long-term focus is liberating, not narrowing.
Besides their devotion to customers, Amazon is famous for its Day One philosophy. It continues to operate like it is the first day of the company. A new day is a chance to explore the present instead of acting from the past. The vision of Amazon determines the outcome of decisions. The Day 1 approach considers how to carry out those decisions. Day 2 happens when experimentation and failure become irrelevant. When it is more important to follow a process than to chase an outcome. Day 1 preserves the spirit of a child, so stasis and decline become impossible.
The path and approach matter. But so does speed. The speed at which you sprint towards your vision will keep your dream alive or let it sink. Amazon doesn't follow lengthy protocols and checklists that slow it down. Innovation becomes difficult, and experimentation even harder. Making decisions on the spot from instinct is what keeps a company moving, breathing, and alive.
You can apply the success of Amazon to your personal life. First, you must find a vision you are willing to fight for every day. It must make short-term discomfort bearable for the long-term mental picture. Then, think of each year as Year Zero. Coined by systems thinker August Bradley, Year Zero is a chance to reset, restart, and redirect energy, focus, and time. It gives you a chance to act based on your current opportunities and interests instead of a path you followed before. You get to choose out of curiosity instead of obligation. Year Zero gives everyone the chance to reboot and make decisions based on the present instead of the past. If you care about what you are doing and what you are moving towards, you will outperform anyone.