Describe about the Engineering Entrepreneurship for Manage a Business.
According to Parker (2012, an entrepreneur is an individual who organizes and manages a business. There are wide number of reasons why the individuals choose to become entrepreneurs. In this paper, Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen or Jeff Bezos, the chairman, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com shall be analyzed. Amazon is the largest online shopping retailer which sells a wide range of products and services. The company was founded in the year 1994 which is based in Seattle, Washington. The company has separate retail websites for different countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, India, Australia, France, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands and more. Amazon is a successful company worldwide whose credit can be given to Jeff Bezos (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). The aim of this paper is to study the traits and characteristics of Jeff Bezos as he is a successful entrepreneur. This paper discusses the manner in which the personal traits and characteristics are applied in the business. The contribution made in this report focuses on the inspiration that is obtained from Jeff’s work. A theoretical analysis is made regarding entrepreneur and entrepreneurship. A thorough justification is provided for choosing Bezos over other entrepreneurs.
About Jeff Bezos
The American entrepreneur Jebb Bezos is the CEO, investor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist (Amazon.com, 2015). He is one of the most powerful figures in tech with an engineering background who has a net worth of approximately $57 billion (D'Onfro & Kim, 2016). As a kid, Bezos showed signs of brilliance. He was busy fixing his things at home using screwdrivers and repairing windmills while doing farm work. Bezos’s father has been a great inspiration to him and helped him kindle his passion for intellectual pursuits. Jeff dreamt of becoming a space entrepreneur as a kid and he currently owns Blue Origin, a space exploration organization. As a teen he worked at McDonald’s and started the Dream Institute. He majored in computer science at Princeton College. However, he rejected job offers from Bell Labs and Intel and joined Fitel, a start-up (D'Onfro & Kim, 2016). After working at Fitel, Jeff got a job ad became the senior vice president within four years at D.E. Shaw. The business icon took ballroom dancing classes for increasing women flow analytically. In the year 1994, his conducted a thorough analysis about the technology and web boom within a year (D'Onfro & Kim, 2016). Taking advantage of the opportunity, he made a list of categories of products that could be sold online. He concluded that books shall turn out the most profitable for him. Jeff was determined enough to start-up his own company and quit J.E. Shaw. He was not afraid to take risks and accepted failure as a part of life (D'Onfro & Kim, 2016).
Entrepreneurship and Characteristics
The theories and concept of entrepreneurship has undergone significant changes in the recent centuries. The concept is not only influenced by economical aspects, but also ethical, sociological, psychological and cultural values. Going by the evolution of entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurs were previously looked as adventurer and the concept was wide and unclear. Further, in the next evolution stage, the entrepreneurs were looked as ones who conduct speculative activities (Galor & Michalopoulos, 2012). In the third stage, the entrepreneurs were observed as the co-ordinator of protective resources. Further, coming down to the fourth stage, entrepreneurs have been more involved and engaged in creating and innovating. The current stage of entrepreneurship involves entrepreneurs as visionary leaders who are high achievers with effective decision making capability (Carlsson et al., 2013).
Irrespective of the definition of success, the entrepreneurs share common characteristics. One of the most important traits of an entrepreneur is that he seeks personal satisfaction, stability, financial gain and enjoyment. There are greater chances of success if an entrepreneur enjoys his work. The entrepreneurs cannot expect to be successful or effective unless they believe in themselves, products and services (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). It was observed that Jeff considered selling a few product categories online. However, he decided to sell books as it is standard across the globe. No person needs to touch and feel before buying a book. The buyers are only concerned about the content. When Amazon began its business, there were only two distributors selling books across US, Borders Group and Barnes & Noble (Kurowski, Miller, & Prufer, 2016).
Fairlie & Holleran (2012) argue that planning is an important aspect of the business as it involves analysis of every business situation, research and compilation of data. An entrepreneur has effective planning capabilities where he has goals, methods to achieve goals and the strategies to overcome the hurdles (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). As stated by Jeff Bezos, making business plans are necessary. He believes in guiding and managing business in a better manner rather than being correct and guessing correct all the time. In his words, a business plan does not survive until it encounters with reality. The reality is never a plan but the discipline of writing the plan forces an individual to get mentally comfortable in the space. According to Jeff, developing a plan is more important than sticking to it. He keeps his plan flexible and reviewing it often (Stone, 2013).
Money is the lifeblood of any business. The entrepreneurs need to buy inventory, promote business, repair and replace tools and conduct other activities as necessary in the business. Jeff Bezos has kept Amazon the best e-commerce giant by managing its finances efficiently. As a successful entrepreneur, he understands the business opportunities and invests only if he sees a growth in it. He intends to focus on customer obsession instead of competitors. He believes that if the customers love the products and services, it shall give strong return on capital. The entrepreneur believes in focusing his energy on the controllable inputs for maximizing outputs over time (Kim, 2016).
A good entrepreneur is always ready to take risks so that he dives deep into the future of uncertainty. However, all the risk taking entrepreneurs might not be successful. It is crucial to have efficient planning and strategies while taking risks. According to Jeff, losing billions of dollars in failed projects is not an issue. He finds it effective to take risks. He believes that if an organization stops taking risks, they may not even survive in the intense competition. Jeff has lost millions of dollars at Amazon while taking risk. Bezos has a nature of risk taking while pushing him into new business, be it delivery of grocery, smartphones or original series on the television. Jeff encourages his employees to be creative and experiment the next big thing in technology. Amazon reported a loss of $437 million due to the cycle of investment (Rubin, 2014).
One of the reasons of success of an entrepreneur is conducting meetings. A good entrepreneur ensures that the meeting does not end up in wasting time, money and resources. The intended outcome of the meeting is to increase the chances of achieve goals. In an interview in the year 2012, it was noted that Bezos begins his meeting with 30 minutes of silent reading (Williams, 2013). The company avoids using PowerPoint as it might be easy for the presenter but difficult for the audience. He believes in developing critical thinking skills among his employees and slides communicate very little information such as numeric data and bullet points. However, he forces deeper clarity and meaning that can be communicated in full sentences and paragraphs. Bezos states that memos force the presenters to think beyond numeric figures. This entrepreneurship strategy helps the organization is maintaining a laser focus and acting quickly. The entrepreneur leads the manager to work harder and deliver a much meaningful message which shall also narrate the full story of the organization’s underlying belief. A successful entrepreneur knows his product offering in great detail. Not only the company products, but also the competitor products and services are kept in account. This entrepreneurship trait helps in innovations and staying competitive in the marketplace. According to Bezos, if the company doubles the number of experiments, they shall also double their innovativeness. At Amazon, willingness to invent and experiment has always been a part of their culture(Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013).
Several lessons can be learnt from Jeff Bezos because of which he has been chosen as the ideal entrepreneur for this literature. According to the venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, Amazon shall become a $3 trillion company in the coming time. There are a few business lessons that Bezos teaches the companies in ‘The Amazon Way’. Bezos make a clear point of obsessing over its customers and not competitors. Usually, the companies have a tendency to wait for the competitors to come up with some innovative products and services so that they can match it up. In such a scenario, Jeff suggests to listen to the customers. He built Amazon Web Services (AWS) business which is a $10 billion business (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). There are companies that call themselves customer-focused but not all of them behave in such a manner. The moral learnt is that for getting ahead of the market, the company has to think about itself. Today, Amazon sells just about everything, from books and movies to clothing and groceries. And with Amazon Prime and Amazon Studios, it’s getting into the media production game. But Amazon started out selling one thing and one thing only: books. Book sales were Amazon’s proving ground. Bezos envisioned them as the first step towards creating the "everything store" that he envisioned. This strategy--starting with one specific product and building a strong e-commerce system around it before diversifying--let Bezos slowly turn Amazon into an e-commerce giant (Williams, 2013).
Another lesson that can be learnt is to take risk for market leadership. Jeff took a risk and initiated Amazon Auctions which is the same business model as eBay. This later turned into Amazon Marketplace that has half the unit sales with that on Amazon.com (Kim, 2016). According to Jeff, invention and failure are like twins. For inventing or innovating, one needs to experiment. Also, an experiment always has uncertain results. Therefore, the lesson learnt is that the entrepreneurs must make bold decisions instead of timid decisions. A good entrepreneur is an individual who gives stake to its employees in the organizational success. According to Anders (2012), currently, Amazon has over 230,000 employees. Jeff believes that the success of the organization shall be affected by the ability to attract and retain a motivated labour base that must think alike and act as the owner. Therefore, the lesson learnt is that whether it is profit sharing, bonus or stock, the employees must be given a stake in the organizational success. But Bezos claims that he tried to imagine himself decades in the future, looking back on his life: He wanted to be in a position where he would regret nothing. Jumping ship to start a new Web-based company at a moment when the internet’s future was still uncertain was a huge risk--but one Bezos knew he had to take it (Holland, & Shepherd, 2013).
A good entrepreneur is the one who builds a right culture for the company. Amazon is a company that is cost-conscious and it runs in a small profit or a loss. Jeff does not judge this approach as the correct one. He just finds this approach appropriate, meaningful and energizing. The lesson which can be learnt from this issue is that there are no particular or specific set of goals for an organization. The entrepreneur needs to prioritize on the most important things, repeat it and involve every individual. Bezos argues that there are Type 1 and Type 2 decisions. The type 1 decisions are irreversible decisions taken by the top executives(Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). The type 2 decisions are reversible in nature in case it goes wrong. The type 2 decisions must be made quickly by high judgments of individuals. Therefore, the lesson learnt is that the entrepreneurs must keep innovating while pushing power down low in the organization (Peng, Less & Hong, 2014).
Jeff argues that the strategy must be based on things that would never change. Whether an organization sells tractor seats, lipsticks or e-books, they shall have main constants such as wide selection, quick delivery and low prices. There have been times where the initiatives taken by Amazon seem to be money-losing in the beginning. Bezos has a great patience level which is necessary for an entrepreneur. He believes that certain ventures may take a few years to pay off. As marketing and advertising is important, Bezos believes in traditional word-of-mouth advertising the most (Kim, 2016). These are the indications of a happy customer even in the digital age. As an entrepreneur, he asks thousands of Amazon managers, including himself, to attend two days of call-center training each year. The payoff: humility and empathy for the customer. Bezos first made that observation in 1997, in his initial letter to Amazon’s shareholders (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013). He hasn’t budged from it. At Amazon’s new headquarters two of the largest buildings are Day 1 North and Day 1 South. In interviews Bezos still talks about the Internet as an uncharted world, imperfectly understood and yielding new surprises all the time (Hansen, Ibarra & Peyer, 2013).
Conclusively, Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen or Jeff Bezos, the chairman, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com is analyzed. The contribution made in this report focuses on the inspiration that is obtained from Jeff’s work. A theoretical analysis is made regarding entrepreneur and entrepreneurship. Jeff dreamt of becoming a space entrepreneur as a kid and he currently owns Blue Origin, a space exploration organization. He concluded that books shall turn out the most profitable for him. Jeff was determined enough to start-up his own company and quit J.E. Shaw. The entrepreneurs cannot expect to be successful or effective unless they believe in themselves, products and services. When Amazon began its business, there were only two distributors selling books across US, Borders Group and Barnes & Noble. The entrepreneurs need to buy inventory, promote business, repair and replace tools and conduct other activities as necessary in the business. According to Jeff, losing billions of dollars in failed projects is not an issue. He finds it effective to take risks. He believes in developing critical thinking skills among his employees and slides communicate very little information such as numeric data and bullet points. Amazon is a company that is cost-conscious and it runs in a small profit or a loss. Whether an organization sells tractor seats, lipsticks or e-books, they shall have main constants such as wide selection, quick delivery and low prices. He believes that if an organization stops taking risks, they may not even survive in the intense competition. The current stage of entrepreneurship involves entrepreneurs as visionary leaders who are high achievers with effective decision making capability.
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