This is the first time I’ve read one of Mr. Bezos’ letters, and I think it’s well worth the read. He starts out with True Customer Obsession:
There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.
Why? There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but heres the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they dont yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it, and I could give you many such examples.
Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen.
He goes on to talk about resisting proxies (for decisions), embracing external trends, and high-velocity decision making.