Why Jeff Bezos deserves to be so rich

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Is it fair that Jeff Bezos is so rich?

Ask that question at a cocktail party and you might spark some lively discussion. Many people think that no one needs that much wealth, and they will argue that they would be better off using their money to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless.

They may be right, but let’s not skip a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Why is Bezos so rich?

It’s not because his time is more valuable than the Amazon warehouse worker who makes $15 an hour. It’s not because he’s a criminal. No, Jeff Bezos is so rich because he eats complexity.

How do you eat complexity?

Related: How Amazon’s Dominance Can Benefit Your Business

The world is a complex place. someone have to eat that complexity. Who will it be: the company or the customers?

Are you eating the complexity of your customer?

The average consumer wants to eat as little complexity as possible. They will pay handsomely and reward with loyalty the company that does it for them. This is why Bezos haters can protest Amazon’s abuse in the same breath and still order Amazon Prime delivery in the blink of an eye.

Compare Amazon to a start-up dropship business. Dropshipping is easy for the store owner. You build a store with Shopify, fill it with products on the shelves in Chinese warehouses, drive traffic to the store, and when customers make purchases, you order the products that are shipped directly from the Chinese warehouses to the end customer without ever seeing a Product.

Easy, right? It’s time to get rich. Or so they think.

There’s a problem: the warehouse consumes most of your margin through shipping and handling, and the customer has to wait 2-3 weeks for the goods to arrive. Who would have a problem with that? Why not just order from Amazon?

Jeff Bezos made Amazon the dominant force by taking on all the complexity. He is relentlessly customer-oriented, obsessed with making life easier for them. He posed enormous challenges to his team so that the customer experiences as little friction as possible when shopping on Amazon.

Think of the gigantic effort it took. The empire of warehouses, the van fleet, the strict packaging and safety standards, the lockers in public places, the small army of customer service specialists and the one-click interface for returns and refunds.

Reasonable people may disagree, but according to this author, this is how Bezos became the richest person in the world. Bezos took unfathomable chaos and worked it out in order. He ate all the complexity he needed so you could get your desired products and have them delivered overnight.

Related: Five Ways Businesses Can Use Amazon’s Mission as a Growth Strategy

Forget anything that isn’t customizable

Jeff Bezos was not like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. He was not a flamboyant ambassador for his brand.

When Amazon was just an e-commerce bookseller, even to the point where it started asserting itself as a dominant force in general, few people knew who Jeff Bezos was. When they heard that he had deposed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as the richest man in the world, more than a few people might have said, “Jeff who?”

Sure, a robust personal brand can be an integral part of a winning business strategy, but the fact that Bezos beat them all without that brand should tell you something.

Many business owners focus more on their image – their Instagram, their PR, their platform – and not nearly enough time on the product, eating so much complexity that the customer’s choice is practically made for them. A successful Instagram account can have a lot of followers, but if it keeps your customer from buying your product, why bother?

Forget image, forget positioning, forget marketing – what part of your business is facing the customer? How can you make every part of your business less customer-centric? complex for your customer? What can you reduce from 10 steps to just one? What can you do for them so they don’t have to do it themselves?

And finally: Does this make you job more complex? Good – you earn more money in return.

Related: The Daily Schedules of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Other Famous Corporate Billionaires

Some people think that the richest people in the world are the best thieves, but real business people know better. Give or take some rich heirs, the richest people in the world are the people who solved the biggest problems for most people. Complexity food is just another way of looking at problem solving for your customer.