How does a company like Amazon go from startup to international powerhouse?
How would a company scale up that quick? Why would anyone even trust in the brand early on? I am curious to know how I can position my company to perhaps get as lucky as Amazon did.
This is one of my favorite questions because it has variations from Amazon to Google or Apple or Microsoft… however, it’s always the same reason and a similar story. While I was working on a startup project at Startup Oasis (https://www.startupoasis.co/) this question came up a lot, and everyone has an opinion about this, but I personally think is a combination of timing, effort and filling a gap on the market.
First of all, timing goes very well with the capacity for making something happen, so if you don’t have the proper infrastructure for your project, it’s not going to work. The effort comes down to innovation and offering something new, and all of the above would be pointless without proper marketing. You have to figure out what people want and how you can get it to them in the simplest way possible.
Several key factors.
Realized and defined a clear market opportunity. Book selling was archaic.
Timing was early to market when WWW was in its infancy and growing exponentially.
Raised lots of money.
Wide, wide adoption.
Delivers on its promises.
Amazon is very bold innovative and spends billions on R & D. They do not rest on their laurels and always seem willing to take chances. In most situations they seem to be a step or two ahead of the competition. Amazon Web Services is a great example. A few years ago you did not hear much about them today they are dominate in their space.
The Marketing strategy acquired by the amazon is highly appreciably. Brand marketing with the brand ambassadors is one of the main impact made by the amazon. people usually trust brands acquired by the stars.
It's the same formula as Google more or less. To repeat that kind of success you just need to recognize an opportunity of enormous scope and quickly figure out how to structure the company in a better way than anyone else has thought of to capitalize on it. Then assemble a top-teir board of directors, CEO, CFO etc, to complement your polished new business plan because investors invest in people - not ideas. Then throw the millions of dollars you raise into aggressive deployment of the plan. Hit fast and hard. Out-advertise your competition and sustain. Just don't make any significant mistakes and you will be laughing all the way to the bank. Eventually.
That brings us to the need for incredible stamina and patient investors. Amazon started in 1994. It made its first profit 7 years later in 2001 - $5 million on over 1 billion in sales. That equated to a whopping 1¢ per share. So seven years in, a few of the investors actually started to think that the Amazon biz plan just might not completely suck after all. Maybe they would one day get their money back.
Bezos must have done some pretty impressive presentations to have held off investors so long. He certainly beat the odds. Tech sector angels usually want to see a ROI in a year or two. The original biz plan called for 5 years to break even - just selling that was a incredibly impressive. But those two additional years must have been his best work.
ANTICIPATION and a boatload of cash backing your idea up in the initial stages.....Failing forward fast, and as suggested in other answers, find a Mission and Vision Statement that connects and then see if you can tap into the magical "IT" Amazon has "IT"
Always have a Detached Perspective at All Times
Look at one's business like a parent would that does not baby the company.
Check the Bigger flow of Time
Which direction would the industry go and why?
Never Limit Your Market
Your largest market may be on the other side of the planet.
Fast Growth, Fast Crash
Build your company like a family that would stick together like family for countless generations.
Place your heart and personal desires and allow others to catch on. New desires, new ethics, new trends, innovation brings new leaders.
Introducing Coffee to Japan
That was done a long time ago. My grandfather thought it tasted awful. By the age of 30, he didn't go a day without it. Today, Japan is the highest bidder of high quality coffee beans around the world. Be a map maker. Make your own charts.
I am open for any strategy consultation for those visionists. I will be happy to cook Japanese dinner while we discuss our exotic and innovative future.
Large finances, great marketing and media friends. And in the new world, I am not sure that migration can be done like that again. All commercial catagories have multiplied several times, so it would need to be a new space with a lot of appeal. It is getting harder to be new and different.
There is no simple answer to this question except at a very high level. But here is that attempt:
1. Offer a differentiated product or service with high value to a target niche audience (that niche mrket entry can expand over several years but must be naroow on market entry due to marketing and sales costs)
2. Use proven Management and leadership best practices to build their staff and company and develop systems for all key processes thta create value (see AirTightGrowth dot com)
3. Continue to innovate constantly for that ideal customer target market to stay ahead of copycats (i.e. Kindle, Echo, Amazon S3 services, Dot)
4. Hire the best people, especially managers and senior executives and pay competitive salaries, early on offering stock options instead of top salaries
My CEO and Entreprenurs Boot Camp available at Amazn on a 14 DVD set is an intensive two day course on this. Try this link: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-CEO-Entrepreneur-Boot-Camp/dp/1933082712/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479232460&sr=8-1&keywords=CEO+boot+camp+c-level+enterprises
Bob Norton, CEO Coach, Advisor and Consultant
I'm a process guy. My comment would be that you put the processes in place that position it to be scaled. (Which, by the way, every business should do, whether they intend to scale or not -- since the same processes also help maximize the value of the business.)
At a VERY high level, I am talking about at least 4 elements: ensure that every key function works extremely well, make sure that each function is documented, make sure the documentation is understandable and teachable, make sure it does not depend on the owner (or any one person) for getting it done.
And by 'functions', I mean EVERYTHING, such as service, quality control, management, sales, marketing, etc., etc. Although there is a lot to scaling, the 4 elements I described are essential for making it operationally possible.