Think Long-term – Jeff Bezos in HBR

If you’re long-term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned.”  Jeff Bezos

Back in the January/February edition of Harvard Business Review, Jeff Bezos emerged as the best-performing (living) CEO in the world.  Since 1996, he has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266%.

There are some great insights in the brief interview but the one above, I think, is critical.  A long-term view reconciles the only rationale aim of a business (to make money for its shareholders, i.e. owners) with the interests of the customer and other stakeholders – something that the great industrialists of past generations understood.

All the latest trendy measures are revealed as simple variations on this theme: in the long-term are customer and profit reconciled.

“We take it as an article of faith that if we put customers first, other stakeholders will also benefit, as long as they’re willing to take the long-term view.”  Jeff Bezos


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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