There’s an air of mystery around successful business founders & what sets them apart. Is it their vision, drive, execution or insight? Is it because they practice mindfulness, meditate? Jeff Bezos changed both how we shop & how the internet operates. New books shed light on the real people behind successful start-ups & how much their imprint matters.
In Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos & The Invention Of A Global Empire, Brad Stone explains Amazon’s evolution from a mere success to an inescapable part of everyday life. Bezos is a founder against whom contemporaries are measured. Legendary 14 leadership principles (customer obsession, bias for action) inform decision-making at Amazon. Instrumental in development of Alexa, Amazon Web Services, Prime Video. Efficiency inspires Amazon’s expansive distribution network & fulfilment centres.
Tencent: The Extraordinary Story Of A Chinese Internet Enterprise by Wu Xiaobo argues Pony Ma transformed Tencent from a company that connected the internet to pagers into one that spans gaming, mobile payments, e-commerce, messaging service WeChat. A focus on creative strategic growth made Tencent adept at exploiting emerging opportunities. Guiding principles of product minimalism, user-driven strategy, rapid testing aren’t necessarily novel but Tencent executes better than others.
Can we tell the difference?