Thinking Long Term Still Wins (Amazon)

Posted on by in Branding/Differentiation, Business, Entreprenuership, Finances/Money Management, Growth, Leadership, Planning, Strategy

While there’s always a tendency to think short-term, especially during an economic downturn, there are plenty of compelling reasons to not do so. Major test case: Amazon.

If you didn’t read the Business Week article (Sept. 28, 2009) on “At Amazon, Marketing is for Dummies,” you missed a compelling argument for thinking long-term, especially during a recession.Jeff Bezos

Over the past three years, Amazon’s stock price has doubled, while the S & P has gone down 20%. Over the past six months, Amazon revenue has been up 16%, while most retailers have been negative. And, as per the section in BW that the article ran (the 100 Best Global Brands), Amazon has moved up 13 spots this year to No. 43.

So, what’s behind this magic? Bezos’ commitment to invest in infrastructure and technology. In fact, I thought the best paragraph from the article was,

“The performance is something of a vindication for Chief Executive and founder Jeffrey Bezos. After the dot-com bubble burst, critics hammered him for investing so much in technology and physical distribution centers. Some investors called for Bezos to pull back and produce more short-term profits. Now, those heavy investments are paying off big time, helping the company sell an ever-widening range of products to more than 94 million customers.”

Did you catch that? During the last downturn, rather than give into short-term thinking, Bezos opted for the long-term approach–even though his critics and other investors were urging him to focus on short-term profits. It was that decision, during a market that was fixated on the short-term, that has allowed Amazon to do so well now–during this economic downturn.

So, as you look at the decisions you’re making this month, are you thinking short-term? Or long-term? Are you allowing the siren song of the recession to keep your eyes and investments off the long-term? And finally, do you need to make any adjustments to how you’re currently operating so that you can prosper, not just in the coming months, but for years to come?

To your accelerated success!

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