Jeff Bezos published his annual letter, where he just sorta Bezoses everywhere much to the delight of shareholders and Amazon fans, which don’t have a nickname, until now…. Amafans.
Thank me later.
So, what does his yearly letter mean for you as an FBA seller?
Sure, there are tangentially interesting things for you, of course, the idea that Amazon uses Machine Learning to help with product rank, fraud detection, language translations, that’s all great. But it’s not actionable. You aren’t going to click on “MACHINE LEARN MY FBA BUSINESS” any time soon.
But there’s a lot to learn from his yearly letter, because he doubles down on his concept of … DAY 1.
I’m not going to describe the entirety DAY 1, because that’s why he wrote the letter. So he could restate it. Not so that I could restate his restatement for you.
But since you might be either lazy or busy I will break it down into a super pithy phrase:
“Act fast, Act confident, Accept the new.”
Act fast – Don’t spend a ton of time making your decisions. Just do them. It’s like the lean methodology, FAIL FAST. It’s better to make all your mistakes in the span of six months than it is over the span of six years. You’ll get to the same place both routes, it’s just that the first route leaves you with five and a half more years to figure it out.
Act confident – I very, very, very, intentionally did not write “Be Confident”, because that’s a very different thing. Being confident suggests that you have thoroughly vetted the decision you are making, and feel like you have a good handle on things. This is good if you are (say) performing an organ transplant.
This is bad if you are (say) picking a product to launch on Amazon.co.jp. The difference between the outcome of a 70% confidence decision and a 100% confidence decision is generally trivial. Especially if you’re making those decisions quickly. The difference in the time it takes to go from 70 to 100% confidence is significant.
Accept the new – I used the word Accept here just so I could keep the Act- theme going, but really it should be something like Embrace. Or Chase.
When I first started selling on Amazon, 18 months ago. Everyone said “Focus on America, there’s so much demand” but I just didn’t have the time or energy to deal with it. Amazon.de seemed different. New even.
Two months later I had a product generating four figures profit, with 1 picture and no reviews, with copy that I made using google translate. Selling outside of America was new. And since I’ve accepted it, early, I’ve been able to help other people like you find low-competition profitable opportunities abroad.
In the next post I’ll go into more detail about more examples of how you can apply “Day 1” to your Amazon FBA business, but for now just remember to Act Fast, Act Confident, and Accept the new.