This article is part of a series on strategies and hacks of self-made billionaire entrepreneurs. We divided it into eight parts: Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Jeff Bezos, Elizabeth Holmes, Steve Jobs, Reid Hoffman, and Elon Musk.
Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:
Judging by the media coverage of entrepreneurs, it's easy to think that the #1 key to success is hopping on the biggest trends.
Jeff Bezos shows that big trends are only part of the story. It's also about doing the exact opposite and focusing on what does not change.
Since its founding in 1994, Amazon has focused, like a laser, on the simple idea that people will always want to buy products as cheaply, easily and as quickly as possible. Therefore, Amazon can safely make huge technology investments in these areas and know they will pay off in the future.
Bezos explained why this approach makes sense at the 2012 Amazon Web Services conference: "It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, 'Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,' or 'I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly.'"
The strategy seems to be working. Amazon just became the most valuable retailer in the world this year, and its growth is speeding up, while the growth of its main competitor, Walmart, is slowing down.
Bottom line: Become the best in one core area by continually investing in it over time, rather than jumping from trend to trend and starting over each time.
Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:
To apply this principle to your business, identify a core customer need that will likely stay the same (even as technology and culture evolve) to which your company is uniquely positioned to cater.
Then build your company around it.
This is what Ohio-based entrepreneur Jason Duff did.
Realizing that nostalgia doesn't get the attention it deserves, Duff built his whole real estate business around it. Nostalgia is the universal inclination to remember the past sentimentally in order to derive meaning from our lives.
Duff applied this insight in his company by focusing on restoring historic downtown buildings rather than tearing them down and building modern structures.
He used the following formula to create hundreds of jobs in his community and build several multimillion dollar businesses.
In doing so, he has increased the value of the property, by tapping into the warm feelings held by the townspeople who remember coming to the building in their youth. His Facebook posts providing details on renovation projects regularly attract hundreds of likes.
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