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The Jeff Bezos ‘Day One’ Defense Strategy (Part 1) , With Roland Frasier
Episode 13110th February 2020 • Business Lunch • Roland Frasier
00:00:00 00:10:16

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If you want to protect your business with the vitality of a ‘Day One’ mentality, Roland unpacks Jeff Bezos’s approach and tactics in this two-part series.

“You must always be aware that someone else is standing in the wings to out out-serve, out-innovate and out-invent your business into oblivion”.  Mark Cuban.

Over the years Bezos has done a pretty amazing job of leading with and instilling a “Day One” strategy at Amazon. Here's why Roland agrees that this strategy is critical:

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance, followed by an excruciating painful decline, followed by death… an established company might harvest Day 2 for decades, but the final result would still come”. Jeff Bezos

  • Businesses forget the enthusiasm and stagnate on Innovation.
  • They focus on policies, processes, and systems to create SOPs.
  • Or, they focus on producing the product or providing the service they first offered.
  • They are ignorant of (or forget) how consumer needs and preferences have changed and are changing.
  • ‘Day One’ Enthusiasm is forgotten.

Bezos offers a ‘starter pack’ of 4 specific tactics for Day One Defense, (and Roland added one of his own)…

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #1, Customer Obsession

“Customers are always wonderfully and beautifully dissatisfied… even when they don’t always know it yet it, they always want something better”. Jeff Bezos

Ask yourself

  • What are you doing to obsess over your customers right now?
  • How are you improving the customer experience?
  • What primary research are you conducting to determine their feelings, actions, and beliefs, as they discover, consider, purchase and use your products and services?

Innovation and Invention can only come from an obsession with your customers, their wants, their needs, and their problems.

“If you aren’t constantly standing in the shoes of your customer, facing the problems they face from a ‘Day one’ mentality, then you’re doomed  ultimately as others rise to meet their needs.” Roland Frasier

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #2, View Your Proxys Skeptically!

Jeff Bezos offers this as his second defense: Maintaining a skeptical view of the dependence on processes, systems, and third party information to grow your business.

As you scale, operational systems become the order of the day. Proxies aren’t bad in of themselves…BUT, they do go bad when the Proxy becomes the result. For example, when employees and management are overly focused on following procedures, without regard for the customer outcome.

To escape this

  • First, inform your people of your SOP’s and more importantly, the desired outcomes that the SOP's were intended to create. Help them to understand why they have these SOPs.
  • Empower them to override these SOP’s when they are not achieving or promoting the desired outcomes, or when they identify a better way to serve customers or achieve the desired outcomes.
  • Most of all, instill in your people the Customer Obsession (from Tactic #1).
  • Finally, when it comes to third party customer data and information provided by customer surveys, they are useful but:

“A remarkable customer experience starts with heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, taste. You won’t find any of it in a survey”. Jeff Bezos

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #3, #4 & #5, Listen in next week!

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