Andy Jassy was not chosen as the new CEO of Amazon by luck, coincidence or accident, he has been by Jeff Bezos’ side for years and, according to Jeff himself, is one of the men who played a key role in the huge success of your company.
Before becoming the successor to Jeff Bezos (who to this day is one of the richest men in the world and broke a record by becoming the first man to earn $ 200 billion), Andy Jassy was already the leader of AWS, which is Amazon’s “cloud” area and one of its most powerful businesses. It seems that Jassy has a kind of “Midas touch”, but in reality he just has a good philosophy and an important lesson to be successful in everything he does.
In an interview with Jeff Frick a few years ago, Jassy explained that at Amazon he learned that you have to embrace change rather than fight it. Jassy not only spoke about the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Amazon’s most important principles, such as learning to make quick decisions and being willing to fail, disagree when necessary, compromise and focus on the customer, but also revealed the most important lesson you learned in your career and that is the key to your personal success.
To explain the lesson that led him to where he is today, Jassy told the story of the launch of Amazon Marketplace nearly 21 years ago. Back then, the “dot-com crash” forced many startups to shut down, and it was even thought that Amazon would never be productive again. The situation became very difficult and for two years the price of Amazon shares continued to fall from $ 91 to $ 15.
At the time, Amazon only sold products that they produced themselves, so it couldn’t compete against giants like eBay, so it was time to think about whether they should allow other companies to sell their products on the platform. Many executives refused, and Jassy explained that “We had a very lively discussion about whether we should allow third-party sellers to sell on the Amazon site. First of all, we had this fundamental belief that other sellers were not going to care as much about the customer experience. customer like us, because it was a fundamental part of everything we did “, and they thought that their suppliers could react negatively to change, but in the end they decided to do it and the rest is history.
“You Can´t Fight Gravity” (you can’t fight gravity).
Jassy knew that customers would appreciate having a larger selection of products from different vendors. “We realized that you can’t fight gravity. If something is going to happen, whether you want it to happen or not, it is going to happen. And it is much better that you cannibalize yourself or be ahead of any direction the world is direct from what you’re howling in the wind or wishing it would go away or trying to put on blockers. “
You can’t fight gravity means you can’t resist what’s happening in the world and hope that it will stop it, if you realize that there is a certain trend, that customers are asking for something special or that the world is going in a certain direction, you need to join in and become the best, otherwise you are going to be left behind and you will not be able to catch up with the competition.
That turned out to be a really important lesson “for Amazon as a company and also for me personally,” he said. “Currently, about half of the units that we sell in our retail business are third-party vendor units. It has been very good for our customers and also very good for our business.”
This is something that mime Jeff has said, the most successful companies are the ones that keep changing their own business, evolving and trying new things (like when Netflix stopped renting physical movies to create its streaming catalog), it’s about innovating and of thinking outside the box, and that applies to everything.