Amazon’s 4 Keys to Success

David Paul Carter
2 min readNov 17, 2020


Success! We all define it differently. We all seek it. And, we all look for perspectives on how to achieve it.

Amazon, as well as other online shopping companies and their fast delivery services, has grown and provided an expanded service during our COVID-19 environment. Irrespective of how you feel about Jeff Bezos and Amazon, how does a company of its size continue to function and to grow at such a mind-blowing pace?

In this interview at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Forum on Leadership, Jeff Bezos credits four principles within Amazon’s core values (or company DNA) that have vaulted its success. “We go back to them over and over again,” he says. “And if you look through each thing that we do, you will see them run straight through everything.”

Check out this recent INC article for a full explanation.

1. Customer Obsession

“The first and by far the most important one is customer obsession as opposed to competitor obsession,” he says. “I have seen over and over again companies talk about being customer focused, but really when I pay close attention to them, I believe they are competitor focused, and it’s a completely different mentality, by the way.”

2. Eagerness To Inven

According to Bezos, Amazon loves to pioneer. “Whenever we have tried to do something in the me-too fashion, we have failed at it,” he says. “We need to have something that is differentiated and unique-something that customers are going to like.”

3. Long-Term Thinking

“We are willing to take some time and be patient with the business initiatives that run through everything we do,” Bezos says. Compared to many competitors, which might have 2–3 year time frames, Bezos estimates that his company will have more of a 5–7 time frame before an idea is fully evaluated and implemented.

4. Operational Excellence

“Amazon’s standards are high, and systems are well thought out, tested, and updated as necessary. Bezos says such systems will identify defects at the root and correct them before a major problem emerges. Systematization saves time, money, and in many cases, your reputation.”

Your Call to Action

In your next Leadership Team Meeting (you do have one, don’t you?), discuss these success principles. How do they fit with your company? Are they part of your DNA? Create, debate, talk with current clients, and decide. Then put your ideas into action!

You can download an infographic of Amazon’s 4 Keys to Success here.

© 2019–2021 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.

Originally published at on November 17, 2020.



David Paul Carter

I empower change helping passionate companies and leaders remove constraints, effect change, and generate growth. See my Carter Reports at