We recently came across Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Philosophy, found it very powerful and are trying to embrace it at Ekotrope. Here are our highlights of the philosophy:
Focus on results and not process.
Jeff explained that as a company grows, it becomes easy to rely on process rather than the result. In that case, the process becomes “the thing”. When that happens, sometimes companies stop looking at outcomes and only consider whether they have followed the process correctly, not whether the desired outcome was achieved.
Make decisions quickly.
To make that happen, the “Day 1″ process has a “disagree and commit” system for employees. The idea is that not everyone will agree on a decision, but it’s still possible for people who disagree to work toward the same goal. He mentioned not being sure about a proposed Amazon Prime television series, partly because of his level of interest in it, and partly because of the business terms of the deal. He said: “I had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with ‘I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made,'” he wrote. “Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.”
Here’s a starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, a skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision making.
For context, one example of a proxy is focusing on process rather than results.