Episode 133: The Jeff Bezos ‘Day One’ Defense Strategy (Part 2), With Roland Frasier

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Investor

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. Make sure you listen to episode 131 first.

Before we get stuck in, if you’re interested in actually working closer with Roland, listen to the end of the episode for his invitation to his upcoming Intensive on March 16-17. Nobody teaches what Roland is teaching at this workshop (Leverage, Exit, Grow, & Scale)!  It’s a small, limited group – so act quickly.

A Recap From Part One

“You must always be aware that someone else is standing in the wings to 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.
  • The Enthusiasm of ‘Day One’ is forgotten.

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

Tactic #1, Customer Obsession (Listen back to Part One)

Tactic #2, View Your Proxys Skeptically! (Listen back to Part One)

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #3: The Eager Adoption of External Trends

If you follow Roland, then you know that he talks about this often (listen to episode 125). As it turns out, it’s clear that Jeff Bezos is on the exact same wavelength.

“The outside world can push you into day two if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace them, and you have a tailwind”. Jeff Bezos.

What is Bezos betting on right now? He sites Machine learning in AI. You don’t need a staff of Ph.D.’s or a huge investment in equipment to tap into machine learning trends. Through Amazon Web Services, consider looking into LEX, POLY, and Amazon Rekognition. 

“Machine Learning AI is here. Ignore them at your peril. Your competitors are not going to be ignoring them”. Roland Frasier.

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #4: High-Velocity Decision Making

“One of the most important factors in business success is the ability to act quickly. Make quality decisions and implement them quickly”. Roland Frasier

How do you do this without making half-informed decisions?

1. Reversibility

If a decision is easily reversible, go forward with much less analysis, if it feels right. 

2. 70% Rule

Bezos follows the same process as Former United States National Security Advisor Colin Powell: The best time to make a decision is when you have 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait until you have 90% of the information, you’re going to be too slow. If you make a decision on 40% of the information, you’re going to be wrong or too slow. 

3. Disagree and commit. 

Don’t just disagree with your team and override their opinions when they want to make a decision that you don’t like. Instead, disagree, but trust the people that you hired to make those decisions. Let them know that though you disagree, you’re committed to supporting it and following through. If you don’t, you will get bogged down with the internal politics and pros and cons that will ultimately rob your company of its ability to move fast! 

4. Repair mis-alignments.

Be sure that there is alignment among your various teams and ensure that their objectives and views are all working toward the same desired outcomes. 

Day One Mentality Defense Tactic #5: Patience To Play The Long Game

Roland recently did a mini-series on “The Long and the Short of it.” This excellent series is worth going back and listening to.

Wallstreet was impatient with Jeff Bezos, but it’s clear that it was worth the wait! Some things can only be realized over time.

“You will rarely succeed at business if you only focus on the short term quick win. Business is a game to be played with an eye to the long term”. Roland Frasier

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