Jeff Bezos is someone that I admire and respect but I can’t seem to connect with him (yet) like many of the other luminaries of the tech industry. He still manages to elude me as I’m still trying to figure him out as a person and business leader.
But he continues to impress and his corporate strategies are empowering and very encouraging, especially since his thoughts around long-term competition and growth really resonate with me deeply.
For example, when asked about his business strategy regarding the Kindle and it’s near-inexcusably-low margins (loss leader?) he answers as he typically does: We’re thinking long term.
If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn.
Pressgram, in many ways, is banking on a very similar strategy.
As much as the photo-sharing industry is growing like gangbusters as well as the WordPress ecosystem (nearly 20% of the internet is powered by WordPress – nutso!) and how that marketplace is way up-and-to-the-right in terms of growth as well, we are not simply just an aggregate of the two and although we may consequently benefit from both markets we will most likely not 100% completely realize the potential of the sum.
In other words, we’re in a fast growing market of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Teslas (Model S?! What what!) that are cruising at 100MPH and we’re going to be the Honda Civic that gets us there but perhaps slightly slower. But people who drive Hondas (and specifically Honda Civics) freakin’ love that model and make and aren’t exactly eager to swap to another manufacturer.
I believe the community that we’re building is an incredibly passionate one that understands the obvious philosophical and functional value that is created. I know this as I’ve seen it work tremendously (30% increase of pageviews month-over-month!). Once you experience that it’s hard to go back.
I want to change the world a’la Steve Jobs but I want to do it a’la Jeff Bezos. We’ll give it a shot; why the hell not?