'The key to Jeff Bezos' success is the ability to make quick decisions,' a former Amazon employee said


James Duncan Davidson

Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, is known as the enthusiastic businessman who founded Amazon from scratch and grew it into one of the world's largest corporations. Buster Benson , a former employee who worked for Amazon for nine years and now works as a writer and entrepreneur, said that Bezos' success was 'the ability to make quick and smart decisions'.

How billionaire Jeff Bezos makes fast, smart decisions under pressure

To succeed in work and life, you need to have the ability to make decisions that pick the path you choose, even in difficult situations. However, this skill is not always easy to learn. Benson points out that in situations where important decisions need to be made, there is often not enough time or information available for thinking, so decisions must sometimes be made based on the information and bias that you have. The

Of course, decisions that are based on bias without sufficient information and time are often wrong. However, Mr. Bezos was eager to save decision-making information and time, and rather recommended making decisions based on bias.

In the “ Leadership Principles ” published on the Amazon website, the item “ Bias for Action ” is written. It claims that speed is important in the business, and states that many decisions don't require detailed research and can be reworked after failure. In other words, Mr. Bezos thinks that “making a speedy decision” based on bias, taking into account the risk of failure, is important to the growth of the company.



In addition, what is widely known as Mr. Bezos's idea is “Day 1 companies”. Mr. Bezos is obsessed with the concept of the first day of founding, including closing the last letter sent to shareholders every year with the words “Today is still the first day of establishment” and the name of the headquarters building “Day 1”.

In an annual letter to Mr. Bezos in 2016 (PDF file) addressed to shareholders, “The second day of founding is stationary. Improper things, unbearable, painful declines continue. ”And found that they lost the speed of their early days and very disliked the stagnation. Benson argues that this is the key to Bezos' success and that makes Amazon's growth unstoppable.


Steve Jurvetson

Mr. Bezos likes the speed of the first day's founding, and believes that there is a problem with slow decision making even if he can make high quality decisions. Therefore, “four rules” established by Bezos to make high-speed and high-quality decision-making are as follows.

◆ 1: Don't use “a strict decision-making process that works well in any case”
Many people tend to think “never make a mistake” during the decision-making process, but Bezos believes that many decisions are reworkable. That is why it is important to speed up the decision making process without making it too cumbersome.

◆ 2: Most decisions should be made when 70% of the desired information is obtained
Some people may have the principle of 'collecting information thoroughly before making a decision', but if you try to get 90% of the information, it takes a lot of time. Therefore, Bezos claims that when about 70% of the information he wants has gathered, he should make a decision. If you can redo even if you make a wrong choice, it is more disadvantageous to make the decision too late than to redo the wrong thing.

◆ 3: Persuade with the word 'I don't agree but commit'
If the other party's consent has not been obtained, but you are confident in your decision, you can say, “I know we do n’t agree, but can you still bet on me?” It seems that the complaint is valid. Bezos believes that these words are effective in convincing others who do not agree with their decisions because few people are confident before taking action.

◆ 4: Recognize differences in recognition quickly and expand immediately
If there is no agreement between multiple teams, there may be fundamental differences in the purpose and perception of each other. It's difficult to resolve these differences by debate, so it's important to recognize the differences and make decisions to expand your business before you run out of energy.



Benson said, “There is no time to think about all the information and convince all humans involved in all decisions,” and recommends saving time by referring to the rules established by Mr. Bezos. The Especially when you are at the top of a large company and employ tens of thousands of employees, a one-day decision means that tens of thousands of employees can act one day earlier. Therefore, there are sufficient benefits to save time.

Focusing on the speed of decision is not limited to Amazon. Facebook's motto is `` Move fast and break things '', and Silicon Valley's famous maxim is `` Fake it till you make it '' ) '' Fail fast '.

All these words try to reinforce bias in decisions. In the business world, it is almost always better to make a quick decision while leaving uncertainty, rather than delaying the decision. So Benson argued that if he wanted to be as successful as Bezos, he should accept the need to make decisions and act in uncertain circumstances.

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