How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon

Steve Anderson

Amazon is the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in sales and they didn’t reach that landmark by staying in their comfort zone. Risk taking is the key that unlocked the door to growth at Amazon, but those risks were (and are) intentional, calculated, and strategic. Thomas Edison believed, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” and Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, has always linked experimentation and failure with growth and success.

Join Steve Anderson, author of "The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon," as he shares insights into the mind of one of the most successful CEOs to date.

All Episodes

In the latest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve Anderson takes a step back and provides an overview on how Amazon's 14 growth principles have evolved over the years and how they are going to continue carrying the company forward into the future. Amazon continues to experiment and innovate, testing new service models to change the way consumers shop every day. Additionally, Steve will share some new technological advances Amazon is making, like the development of their Astro Home Robot. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another enlightening conversation that will shed some light on the very bright future Amazon has in store. Timecodes: 0:32 - Overview on where Amazon is today 1:30 - Amazon's new Astro Home Robot 5:00 - New innovative products are showcasing particular growth principles 8:55 - The Amazon One Palm Scanner 13:06 - Amazon is considering opening department stores with their "just walk out" technology 15:45 - Amazon's hiring spree leading them to 1.3 million employees worldwide 18:20 - Project Kuiper and how it could be Amazon's next big idea 21:40 - Amazon's cargo airline concept 24:42 - Believing it's always day one 27:00 - The cultural DNA of Amazon 30:00 - All these principles can apply directly to your own business 31:15 - Closing remarks Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Nov 19

31 min 8 sec

In the latest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve begins laying the groundwork for a 15th principle to be added to his book. While it's still a work-in-progress, this principle is centered around the idea of "meaningful differentiation" and why it's so vital to your business' success. Only by differentiating themselves, Amazon was able to grow to one of the largest companies of all-time and develop new product/service avenues within the company. Listen as Steve walks us through these differentiating ideas Amazon incorporated over the years, as well as the thought processes in place to execute on these ideas. So sit back, relax, and enjoy yet another great conversation! Timecodes: 0:05 - Laying the groundwork for a 15th principle 2:00 - The 2006 shareholder letter and its importance 5:16 - Amazon introducing the idea of differentiation 8:00 - Examining new markets/products to reach into 9:20 - Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a perfect example of meaningful differentiation 12:08 - Looking at physical stores that provide a different experience 14:35 - Amazon's willingness to experiment 19:00 - What are you doing right now to meaningfully differentiate your business? 20:45 - Bezos' last letter to shareholders in 2020 23:40 - Customers want to know what you do differently 26:00 - Closing remarks Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Oct 25

26 min 28 sec

Welcome to another installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon! In today's episode, Steve breaks down the new approach Amazon is taking towards its employees to further enhance their work environments, quality of life, and overall satisfaction within their role. With an increased focus on employee acquisition, skills development, and overall retention, Amazon is striving to become earth's best employer. Listen as Steve takes a deep dive into the various initiatives Andy Jassy and the team at Amazon are implementing and how these same principles could be incorporated within your own business. So sit back, relax, and enjoy yet another great conversation! Timecodes: 0:08 - Overview on Amazon's approach to their employees 4:30 - What's happening at Amazon to fulfill this vision for employees 5:20 - Fulfillment workers seeking upward mobility and professional development 8:11 - Increasing Amazon's minimum wage to $15/hr in 2018 10:30 - 76% of employees are interested in professional development opportunities 12:00 - College tuition reimbursement initiative 13:40 - The Amazon Restart Program 16:50 - David Clark's letter to employees regarding productivity 18:30 - Algorithms that help employees from getting "stuck" in a single role 22:50 - Amazon looking to raise wages for current employees 26:25 - The Amazon Effect on communities nationwide 28:20 - Closing remarks Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Sep 30

28 min 42 sec

In the latest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve explores a new wave of leadership principles entering the fold at Amazon. With Jeff Bezos stepping down as CEO, and Andy Jassy taking his place, Jassy brings a unique perspective along with two new principles. Listen as Steve explores each of the principles and how they are crucial for carrying Amazon into their next chapter with Jassy. At the core of each principle lies the notion of employee attraction and retention. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another enlightening conversation highlighting the newest leadership principles at one of the world's most successful businesses. Timecodes: 0:15 - Discussions during past episodes on leadership principles 1:50 - Adding two new leadership principles for the first time since 2015 2:15 - Original principles within the company 6:18 - The 1997 letter to employees 7:59 - Recognizing the importance of finding and retaining good employees 10:00 - Acknowledging claims on how poorly Amazon employees have been treated in the past 12:00 - Striving to be earth's best employer and the safest place to work 16:00 - Programs put in place to make workers safer all around 19:40 - Principle 15: Success and scale bring broad responsibility 23:45 - Principle 16: Strive to be earth's best employer 26:20 - Closing remarks and information on how to reach Steve Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Sep 15

27 min 30 sec

In the latest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve explores the inner-workings and reasoning behind the recent CEO transition at Amazon. As of July 5, 2021, Jeff Bezos no longer serves as Amazon's Chief Executive Officer. Now at the helm of the global giant is Andy Jassy, a longtime innovator, strategist, and executive within Amazon Web Services. Listen as Steve shares his thoughts on the company's massive transition and what it means not only for Amazon's progress into the future, but also for Jeff Bezos himself. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another enlightening conversation surrounding one of the biggest transitions we've seen in quite some time. Timecodes: 0:14 - Overview on today's topic 1:50 - Why Bezos decided to step down as CEO 4:00 - Despite growth, 2020 was still a difficult and challenging year for Amazon 6:45 - Now Bezos is able to spend time on things he is passionate about 8:02 - Who is Andy Jassy and where did he come from? 11:45 - Jassy's management style and how it'll transition into his new role as CEO 14:30 - The challenges that lie ahead for Jassy and Amazon as a whole 17:00 - How Amazon will likely change under Jassy's command 20:00 - Amazon's growth into healthcare space and other areas in the future 24:19 - The transition is healthy for the company overall Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Jul 28

25 min 21 sec

In the latest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve explores one of the most pivotal cycles that led Amazon to their massive growth, the fourth and final cycle, The Scale Cycle. Comprised of four key principles, The Scale Cycle unlocks the secrets behind how Amazon was able to achieve such massive transformations, ultimately building themselves to the global giant they are today. Listen as Steve highlights the various elements making up the final four principles and how these same ideals can be applied to your business. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a thought-provoking overview that showcases the fourth and final cycle of Amazon's inner-workings. Timecodes: 0:40 - What is scaling? 2:30 - It's important to continually think like a startup business 3:50 - Principle 11: Maintain Your Culture 6:30 - People want to work at Amazon and stay long-term 8:35 - Creating door desks and the symbol it established within the company 10:20 - The use of the term "shareowners" not shareholders 12:10 - Principle 12: Focus on High Standards 15:40 - How Amazon goes about maintaining high standards 21:00 - Bezos' most recent letter to shareowners 23:15 - Principle 13: Measure What Matters, Question What is Measured...Trust Your Gut 28:33 - "When anecdotes and data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right" 29:30 - Principle 14: Believe it's Always Day One 34:51 - The last quote from Bezos' most recent shareowner letter in 2021 Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Jun 25

35 min 42 sec

In the newest installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve takes a deep dive into the Accelerate Cycle, which contains the core principles that propelled Amazon's massive growth. Within the Accelerate Cycle, Steve highlights the origins and importances behind the following principles: Generate High-Velocity Decisions, Make Complexity Simple, Accelerate Time with Technology, and Promote Ownership. Listen as Steve walks us through how Jeff Bezos focused on each of these core principles to enhance various sectors of Amazon, as well as integrate new, lofty ideas thought to be impossible. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another thought-provoking conversation that could leave you with some helpful information, which you could apply to your own business! Timecodes: 00:05 - Introduction and overview on past episodes 00:50 - The Accelerate Cycle overview 01:45 - Principle 7: Generate High-Velocity Decisions 05:00 - Never make a one-size-fits-all decision making process 07:30 - The importance behind the phrase "disagree and commit" 10:00 - Writing clarifies your thoughts 12:50 - Principle 8: Make Complexity Simple 14:50 - Amazon re-invented a basic book with the Kindle 19:30 - Principle 9: Accelerate Time with Technology 22:00 - Amazon Web Services is a perfect example of this principle 25:40 - Principle 10: Promote Ownership 28:00 - Getting employees to act and think on behalf of the entire company 30:30 - The Amazon Smile concept to incorporate charitable giving 33:20 - What is coming in the next episode Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

May 27

33 min 33 sec

In the next installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve provides a deep dive into one of the four cycles - The Build Cycle! Amazon didn't become the global giant we know overnight. It took methodical building practices and strategies incorporated over time. As Steve explains, there are three core principles at the heart of the Build Cycle: Obsess over customers, Apply long-term thinking, and Understand your flywheel. Each of these principles played a pivotal role in the company's growth over the last decade. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another insightful conversation surrounding the growth of Amazon, specifically highlighting these three principles. Timecodes: 00:10 - Overview on prior episodes and growth cycles 01:00 - The Build Cycle as a whole 02:30 - Principle 4: Obsess over customers 06:20 - Amazon's three customer pillars 08:30 - The importance of noticing when a customer has a bad experience 11:20 - Principle 5: Apply long-term thinking 16:32 - Bezos' ranch in West-Texas and building the 10,000 year clock 17:52 - Principle 6: Understand your flywheel 21:00 - Growth was at the center of Amazon's flywheel 23:58 - What is the flywheel of your business? 25:30 - Closing remarks Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Apr 22

26 min 51 sec

In the third installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve provides a deep dive into one of the four cycles - The Test Cycle! In order for Amazon to cultivate such remarkable products and services, they had to test countless strategies and processes. When breaking it down, Steve explains how The Test Cycle is comprised of three primary principles: Encourage Successful Failure, Bet on Big Ideas, and Practice Dynamic Invention and Innovation. Each of these principles help to lay the foundation of testing new products and services. Without these three principles, Amazon would have never seen the success they achieved. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a thought-provoking discussion that could help you apply The Test Cycle's principles to your business. Timecodes: 00:20 - Recapping discussions from prior episodes 01:00 - the importance of testing in business 03:13 - Principle #1: Encourage Successful Failure 05:20 - Inventing can be messy 06:00 - The Apollo Mission and its failure for NASA 09:00 - "Our mission became known as NASA's biggest failure" 11:45 - How Amazon has failed along their journey 14:50 - Principle #2: Bet on Big Ideas 17:00 - The company was wed to three elements: Marketplace, Prime, and AWS 19:00 - Over 50% of sales on Amazon products go through third-party sellers 21:30 - Overview on the development of Amazon Prime 23:10 - The big idea of AWS 25:45 - Principle #3: Practice Dynamic Invention and Innovation 27:00 - The development of the Kindle 32:15 - Experimentation leads to invention, that allows for thorough innovation 34:15 - The Test Cycle isn't just for startups Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Mar 26

36 min 23 sec

In the second installment of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, Steve discusses the four cycles driving Amazon to their overall level of success. Listen as Steve takes a deep dive into each specific cycle, highlighting their principles and why each exists within Amazon's culture. The Four Cycles: Test, Build, Accelerate, Scale While Steve plans to provides an in-depth analysis on each of the four cycles in future episodes, he shares an overarching understanding on the importance of each cycle and how without them, Amazon would never be the company it is today. Timecodes: 00:15 - Recapping the prior episode 01:38 - How the cycles group Amazon's 14 principles 02:10 - The Test Cycle 05:00 - Jeff Bezos' email to employees about stepping down as the company's CEO 07:45 - The Build Cycle 13:00 - The importance of understanding your "flywheel" 14:45 - The Accelerate Cycle 20:30 - The Scale Cycle 23:30 - Measure what matters, but question what's measured 26:20 - Each principle stands on its own, but also interacts with others Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Mar 4

28 min 40 sec

In the inaugural episode of How to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, you'll meet the show host, Steve Anderson, author of The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, as he provides an overview on the journey of writing this book. Since its publish date, the book has been an immense success, selling copies worldwide and debuting on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today's best seller lists. Given Steve's 30+ years in the insurance industry, he has an added edge to speak professionally to hundreds of agents each year at National Alliance events and at many state association conventions and technology forums on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence. So sit back, relax, and enjoy learning more about Steve Anderson, the writing process, and how his book rapidly climbed charts all over the world! Timecodes: 00:20 - Overview on the goal of the podcast moving forward 00:55 - Steve's professional background starting in insurance 04:15 - Moving to Texas and beginning to work in tech consulting 05:45 - His experience gave him a unique perspective on risk 08:30 - The massive tech shift towards mobile phones, which was led by Blackberry 11:08 - Looking at examples of using tech risks that proved to be successful 12:00 - The birth of Amazon and the initial Bezos letters 14:30 - The beginning of writing his book 17:00 - Taking his rough draft to his wife for revisions 19:49 - Developing the 14 principles rather than telling individual lessons from each letter 21:50 - No one cared about the letters. It was all about the principles. 23:00 - The book is very readable and pulls the reader through it 24:00 - What's coming on the next episode Connect with Steve Anderson: https://www.thesuccessnetwork.tv/podchannel/steve-anderson/ (The Success Network) https://www.facebook.com/SteveAndersonNetwork (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetn/ (LinkedIn) https://steveanderson.com/ (Website)

Feb 4

26 min 12 sec