Maybe, just maybe, taking care of customers is something worth doing when you are trying to create a lasting company. Maybe, in fact, it’s the best way to build a real business — even if it comes at the expense of short-term results.
It is almost impossible to read or see an interview with Mr. Bezos in which he doesn’t, at some point, begin to wax on about what he likes to call “the customer experience.” [...]
“Jeff has been focused on the customer since Day 1,” said Suresh Kotha, a management professor at the University of Washington business school who has written several case studies about Amazon. [Bill] Miller [Legg Mason’s legendary fund manager] noted that Amazon has really had only one stated goal since it began: to be the most customer-centric company in the world.
In this, it has largely succeeded. Millions of people instinctively go to Amazon when they want to buy something online because they have come to trust the company in a way they trust few other online entities. Amazon’s technology, its interface, its one-click buying service — they are all incredibly easy to use. Its algorithms offer “suggestions” for further buying that actually appeal to its customers.