Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s CEO, has been using the ‘Day One expression since the 1997 letter to shareholders. Now, it is Day One again, never Day Two. The day you behave as Day Two, he implies, you’ve lost the plot.
in his new Day One, he now encourages ‘heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts and taste’, not just ‘research’. Also, making decisions fast even with 70% of the information you would like. ‘Tolerate disagreements and commit to support the majority’. Above all, never behave as a ‘Day Two company’.
I must say I am an admirer of the metaphor and the culture that it inspires. Cynics are quick to point out the recently discussed ‘working practices’ in Amazon warehouses. When Bezos has found out something like this, he has reacted on spot. But this is not the point.
Business loves saints and sinners. But not in one lot. Well, I am afraid, it’s all mixed up as in life itself. Was Steve Jobs a tyrant? An innovator? A Genius? A Leader? All of the above like a Four Seasons Pizza.
I am frustrated to read John Gapper’s column in the FT: ‘The gospel of Bezos is based on an illusion’. Apparently, his success has nothing to do with leadership, culture, ‘Day Ones’ or anything like that, but being at he right time and place embracing technology and the internet. Apparently this is some sort of after thought that in the eyes of Gapper has nothing to do with culture or drive. An illusion?
John Gapper is the Associated Editor of the FT, a journalist and book writer who, if Mr Wikipedia is right, has never managed anything other than a pen. Armchair social commentators drive me crazy. I don’t think ‘The gospel of Bezos is based on an illusion’ and it’s certainly based on far more more than writing a newspaper column. As for being in the right place at the right technology/internet time, good for him. I suppose the same ‘luck’ as the FT being now completely owned by by Nikkei Inc. in Tokyo. Just the right time to hand over to the Japanese, I suppose.
What is good is good, and what is bad is bad. It’s not a bundle, a package. Bezos drives culture big time, whwther you like ‘that culture’ or not. Nobody in his right mind, unless never managed a company, can dismiss Amazon’s culture. ‘Day One’ is a welcome drive and a reminder to avoid complacency even for monsters.
I am not interested in Saint Business People. I was completely vaccinated against business sainthood when in my MBA I had Saint Jack Welch, then CEO of GE, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And saint he was not.
Seriously, don’t run the thing on Day Two mode. It’s not worth.