A few days before Amazon will announce the cities it had picked for its new additional headquarters , CEO Jeff Bezos addressed a separate but related concern among employees: Where is all this headed? At an all-hands meeting last Thursday in Seattle, an employee asked Bezos about Amazon’s future. Specifically, the questioner wanted to know what lessons Bezos has learned from the recent bankruptcies of Sears, Toys R Us and others. From the CNBC news article:
“Amazon is not too big to fail,” Bezos said, in a recording of the meeting that CNBC has heard. “In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.” The key to prolonging that demise, Bezos continued, is for the company to “obsess over customers” and to avoid looking inward, worrying about itself. “If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end,” he said. “We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.” Bezos’ comments come at a time of unprecedented success at Amazon, with its core retail business continuing to grow while the company is winning the massive cloud-computing market and gaining rapid adoption of its Alexa voice assistant in the home.