Last week Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, did a very interesting thing.
And if you want to grow your business this year, it’s important you understand his actions.
Here’s what happened.
Over the last year Amazon has been doing something very unusual. This giant company has set up tiny pop up shops all over the U.S.
These small stores only sold one type of thing each month- one month it was just Barbie dolls. Then the next month it may have been tea cups.
It was a very lateral way of pushing Amazon in front of the noses of people who normally wouldn’t visit their website. And each month they reminded people that Amazon sells lots of different things.
But they went further. They staffed these tiny pop up stores with outstanding, friendly staff. It was their way of giving people a taste of Amazon’s high service standards.
Then last week they did a really weird thing.
They announced that they are closing down all 87 of the pop up stores.
Why? It’s hard to tell. And it actually doesn’t really matter.
What’s important is two things:
Firstly, Amazon is continually doing experiments- testing out new and unusual ways they can make a bigger impact and develop the Amazon brand.
And secondly, they are not wedded to anything they do. They freely and quickly abandon initiatives if they decide they are not right to continue.
So, over to you.
Are you doing lots of little experiments with your company? Are you trying the unusual and testing what happens?
Or are you running things pretty much the same way you were last year.
And do you have the courage to shut down parts of your company that aren’t delivering the goods?
I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs and CEO’s and here’s what I find.
Most are doing very few experiments and most are not shutting down things that aren’t meeting their standards.
(I’m not saying you shouldn’t persist and iterate, I’m saying you should not put up with anything that’s producing a mediocre result in your company).
When Jeff Bezos announced he was closing down his 87 tiny pop up stores, most saw it as a failure.
I think it is yet another example of why Bezos is so much better than most CEO’s.
He experiments more. And he cuts the mediocre initiatives quickly.