Whatever you may think of Amazon’s business practices it would be hard to deny that Jeff Bezos is an exceptional individual. In his written statement to Congress, he revealed some of the guiding principles that have directed his life and driven Amazon to be the success it is today. What jumped out of his statement are the fearlessness in taking risks and the absolute focus on keeping customers happy.
Why these two values are so important to Amazon are explained in this quote from Bezos - ‘Even when they don't yet know it, customers want something better, and a constant desire to delight customers drives us to constantly invent on their behalf.’ In Amazon’s case having an organisational culture that prioritises innovation and results (termed adhocracy and the market in the Competing Values Framework) is a world-beating combination.
But as Bezos realises all too well ‘When you let customers make your business what it is, then they will be loyal to you - right up to the second that someone else offers them better service.’
I like to compare feedback to a freshly mined diamond. Although unattractive to the naked eye, the rock's value becomes obvious once it's cut and polished. Negative feedback is like that unpolished diamond: To the recipient, it's ugly. But it's often rooted in truth, providing insight you can use to grow.