Amazon’s Competitive Mentality
About the paradox of competitiveness.
A few weeks ago, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, was Charlie Rose’s guest. I just watched his interview on the Charlie Rose’s website and, as usual, Bezos had interesting things to say.
Asked about Amazon’s culture, here’s what Bezos answered: “Companies can be competitor focused. And that approach can be successful. Or they can start with the customer and that can also be successful. Some companies have a conquer mentality. If you look at their annual strategic plan, it starts with their three top enemies and who they’re gonna crush this year. Some companies, and certainly Amazon is in this group, have an explorer mentality. We like to go pioneering, we like to find dark alleyways and wander down them and see if they open up into broad avenues. And sometimes they do.”
This strikes me as a paradox of competitiveness: The best way to outperform your competitors is not to worry about them.