Astrology and the stock market

JP Morgan Bank ‘Millionaires do not use astrology, billionaires do’

Pluto is in each sign for about 15 years.

Eg. It was in Sagettarius from about 1992 to 2007, so had that it had an expansion and then 2007 came the crisis when into Capricorn.

Debt expanded under Sagettarius and then the practical reality of Capricorn made the problem more realistically viewed.

Pluto is in Capricorn until 2023

So in Capricorn are paying all the debt and excess of the previous years.

In 2017 -2013, so about next 5 years, there will be a crisis about the debt, such as inflation increase, interest rates, or something. This will stop money printing and will create a small drama.

Can look at other planets like moon for short term trading. Start investing in the new moon, which is when sun and moon are in same sign. Never invest in an eclipse.

Investing in new moon and selling in full moon. There are university studies on this. Typing things like new moon stock market into a search engine brings up loads of information on this.

The returns are 3 times greater on the stock market if buy in new moon and sell in full moon compared to just buy and hold. Research on this covers over a 100 year period. Have to consider Pluto for these returns.

Investor needs to work out if want proper returns, or just beating index. No point beating index, if index is going down. Then beating the index, is just making less of a loss than the index.

Mercury when retrograde in that period a lot of news from one place to another and no one knows what to do, so best to do nothing because of most communication. Can still go up if out comes out good news during Mercury retrograde, but is risky as all uncertain so best not to invest during this time.

Need to look at whole chart and interpret it in with regards the situation. It is not a 100% as is not a pure science.

Doing what is needed to succeed

To succeed have to look at what market will pay for that is profitable.

However this can lead to conflict that some entrepreneurs cannot cope with. They will not make decisions that are unpopular with staff, or even just things that they do not want to do themselves.

When a customer goes to buy something they do not care about how the owner treats friends, family, does what he or she enjoys etc.

So the owner has to make whatever decisions means will meet the market wants.

There are many things which can prevent this:

1, to succeed need to hire the best people, but instead of the owner routines and hers people they are friendly with and family.

If a business does have people who have friends and family but are also not the best people possible. The owner hould help them to succeed, but make it clear the targets they have to meet or they will have to go to another job or another company.

2, Doing what is prestigious and brings respect. Again this is something the owner made like, but the market does not care and is not necessarily wha brings the company money.

This desire can also cause extravagant, wasteful spending and unnecessary spending.

3, Doing what is fun. Again this may not be something that makes money.

4, The lazy options

5, Not doing hard things: Such as firing staff that should be fired because not want conflict.

6, Taking a side of the staff when they are acting in their own self interest which is not that of the customers’. The customer is the buyer and without them there are no jobs, so have to take the customer’s side.

For example staff may want the company to charge the customers more, so they can be paid more, or can look after less customers as each customer pays more. However this will lead to less customers and less satisfied customers.

However by serving the customers with what they want, there are more customers and some odd jobs are created

Of course owner must be as nice kind and gentle with people as possible, but what the market wants for products and services, how it delivers and creates that, is a fundamental truth that cannot be avoided.

Just like with football teams there can only be one winner. Those are the top of the league have most of the market and the rest get very little, it is the same for companies. To achieve this a company has to be the best to do that have the best people.

7. Not just doing what you did before. This may seem safe, but it doesn’t work and isn’t fulfilling.

Of course learn from the past, but listen to your ideas and see how things really are.

Running a business (numbers)

If a person does not know the numbers in their business, they do not know their business.

Most consultants have never met a successful business person, who does not know the numbers of their business.

Numbers do not lie, which is often why people do not want to look at them because they will say the truth which can be bad news.

Liars, cheats and failures will also not want to discuss their numbers in a business as they also reveal the truth of what they are.

Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators can be very revealing.


How many sales a salesperson got that month.

How many sales a salesperson per hour they worker that month.

The average length of time a customer will stay per account manager.

The gross profit of a product.

It is possible to manage very large companies, by just seeing who is doing well and who is doing badly from the numbers.  Just like and see which football team is good and which is bad, from their goal scores and matches.

Many people do not like this as it shows their failure or mediocrity.

Question everything to find out more

When find out a number, then ask questions.

Then research the answer to that question using numbers.

Then will find out new revealing numbers.

Eg.  How many purchased items returned to company. Then may want to ask how many  returns by the person that made it, product line etc.

Variance reporting

Variance analysis is a useful way to find things out.

Normally 20% of people are great, 60% okay and 20% of rubbish.  The bottom 20% do more harm than good and the organisation would be better off without them.

The top 20% show how it should be done and what is possible.
So look how well the top 20% are doing. Then everyone else is either less good, lying, or just being lazy doing the least they can get away with.

Can go further and look at the top 5%, 1% etc.

The big thing though is comparing the different numbers from different people, units, divisions, etc.

Thesw variants can be used for customers, suppliers, products, people etc.

Also look of variations over time, location, size etc to see if a change over time somewhere shows something has gone wrong.

Why third generation businesses fail

Delusions of grandeur starting with second generation makes them fail.

One makes it

One caretakers it

One looses.

Delusions of grandeur the second generation gets from their expensive education, money flowing around makes them fail.  As the delusions of grandeur means living off the business and not running it.
If it passes the third generation it will survive as then they have gotten the processes for doing it correctly..

These are normally things such as seperating being in the family and the business, so in business from merit.  If no good then get chucked out of the business, but still in the family.

The people know the rules, such as cannot automatically get a job in the family business.

Not have to do what is needed

When a person first comes to a new country as an economic migrant they have to do whatever is needed to make money, whether it is boring, unglamorous, tough, difficult, or whatever.

However the third generation person with money does not have to do this. So they just do what is fun, gives them pleasure and so on.  

However these are things that other people will happily do for free, so on average does not bring in so much money.  Some of these things can make money, but only the rare exceptional managed it.  

The third generation person as they do not need the money, often does not work hard enough and diligently enough to even achieve this for a possibility.  

This is because they just focus on what is fun, not the hard difficult unglamorous and difficult graft, also repetitive stuff that does become tedious.

The third generation person tents to have so much money they can play around like a child, they do not have to be an adult.  An adult has to take responsibility and resolve problems.  The third generation person just throws money at their problems to resolve them and not effort or work.

How to make great products

Need to compete with yourself:

You have to be your biggest competitor, not somebody else to compete with you. You have to compete with yourself. If you have a product that is very successful, you have to think immediately what is the next one? Can I do it better? This to a certain extent was the success of Commodore.

Jack Tramiel Commodore Computers.

A great product is you

A product that is a copy of other products is always empty and shallow. To make a great product that cannot be easily copied, have to put you, your heart and soul into it all parts of it. Then you have a product or service that is unique, competitors can never copy you in the product. Then it is not just a commodity that can be copied by others.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier’s book ‘Rework’


Great products do a few simple things and do them well. They are easy and fun to use.

Focus on what you are and do

If I creating a product to compete with something else, the competition are setting the rules, parameters and you will be behind them.

Need to look at what problem you are going to solve and solve it, work out the rules for yourself. Then are not being constrained by what others have done and doing.

Is not even about beating the competition, you are doing something separate and different.

if I just copying everyone else, what is the point in your existence.

(Influenced by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier’s book ‘Rework’)

Of course when starting need to learn from others and also learn from others as well, so it is a balance.


Innovative products are discovered

Dr. Land said: “I could see what the Polaroid camera should be. It was just as real to me as if it was sitting in front of me before I had ever built one.”

Both of them (the second Being Steve Job’s about the Macintosh computer), had this ability not to invent products but to discover products. Both of them said these products have always existed—it’s just that no one has ever seen them before. We were the ones who discovered them. The Polaroid camera always existed, and the Macintosh always existed—it’s a matter of discovery.

From ‘Being Steve Job’s boss’ on Blomberg website.

The universe is what the universe is, this is just discovering what can be done in it and what the universe is. They have not created it, it was already there. An idea is a pure thing and then a person runs with it.

Investment evaluation financial ratios

The best ratios to see if a company is good value and will go up in value.

1, Return on assets = assets on balance sheet divided by profits. A high profitability compared to balance sheet, shows are good at getting return on capital.

It can often be seen that the stock market has done this assessment poorly when valuing share prices.

This is from Neil Woodford, who is a value investment fund manager.

2, Cash flow statement: As profit and loss and balance sheets come from accruals accounting, where things are accrued, rather than cash, companies can create all kinds of things using accruals that do not exist.

Examples are invoices which unlikely to be paid, things which on historical value seem valuable but on the market are worth nothing etc.

Cash flow shows if the company is really making money.

3, price earnings ratio (p/e) : company share price divided by it’s profits

4, price earnings growth (PEG): it is from Jim Slater’s book ‘The Zulu Principle’.

Price divided by earnings, eg. £1 share price, divided by £0.05 per year =20.

Then divide by expected growth rate of company, eg. 20 /10% =2.

So a lower end number is better.

The prediction of growth needs to come from it having shown growth, out of at least 4 of the last 5 years.

5, Altman Z score

5, How successful have the managers previously been. Either look at performance where the head managers have been before, or easiest companies where the head staff been there for 5 years or more, so can see their results from that company’s performance.

Best to invest in businesses where head managers tend to stay around, as show they want to grow by getting results and not jumping around to try and get better jobs.

6, Macro economic cycles: Normally about 7 years between boom and bust.

A cycle that was first recorded in the bible over 5700 years ago in the bible and has stood the test of time since. It was mentioned as a dream of Pharaoh, analysed by Moses.

Also using Google Finance to show long term total stock market valuation indecises will help show this.

‘The Everything Store’ book about Amazon and Jeff Bezos

What I learned from ‘The Everything Store’ book written by Brad Stone. 

It is about Amazon and Jeff Bezos.

When a person’s life story is told, it is the series of choices they made which shows what they were.

Need to:

●care about the business more than anyone
●understand every detail of the businesses
●view the competitive landscape like a chess master.
●be obsessive about pleasing customers and providing services like free shipping. Be customer focused.
●want to push the boundaries of what is possible
● react harshly to efforts that do not meet rigorous standards

People want:
1st, Price
2nd, Convenience, such as how quickly and easily they get the product or service.
3rd, To feel close to who they are buying from, as the company can affect the purchaser.

Speak simply and positively in all customer communications, this normally means crossing out loads of words that have been written for them.

Watch for every small cost, for example even employee parking and snacks. Need to be frugal, as these savings can be passed on to make things cheaper for the customer.

Need to be able to focus on things.

An entrepreneur does not make the future. They make things that work in what the future is and so are successful.

Avoid luxuries like lifts, doing the work yourself, like taking the stairs instead, makes you stronger.

A leader must devote full attention to people when chatting to them and never give the impression they are hurried or distracted. However also are careful not to be let things get led away from the

Be genuinely:
● customer centric
●long term orientated
●like to invent

Very few companies have all 3 elements.

Most companies are not those things, are focused on competition, rather than the customer. They also want things that will pay dividends on 2 or 3 years and if they don’t, they nove on to something else. They prefer to be close followers, than inventors because it is safer.

Jeff Bezos is hyper intelligent.

Coming up with a business idea is often a messy process with no single ‘aha’ moment. The reality often does not have as much clarity.

Must be keen on thinking about things and be very determined.

Focus on the task, not what other people are thinking of you.

Try and learn lessons from everyone you meet.

Quickly abandon old notions, when better ones present themselves.

Recruitment needs to pro actively advertise jobs to the best people out there, in an unapologetically elitist manner. Then invite them to an interview, where they are asked to solve really difficult problems.

Try competitors products as a customer, to find their weaknesses that you can improve upon with your service.

People start their own business as want to be a true owner of the business, with the equity and massive financial rewards.

People want to be employed as lucrative and comfortable. They are scarred of loosing that.

Before start a business, do revenue projections in Excel, even if they later prove to be radically inaccurate.

A person may think that other people will not want to buy the product, even they will be converted when they see other people buy it.

Amazon 2

Amazon does not make money when they sell things, they make money when they help customers make purchase decisions. This means reviews saying which products are rubbish.

The original idea for Amazon was that someone would be allowed to make a profit as an intermediary. The key question is: Who will get to be that middleman?’

Need employees to be high IQ brainiacs.

Hiring only the brightest and best, is the key to a company’s success. A company lives or dies on that one.

Every time hire someone, that person should raise the bar for the next hire, so that the overall talent pool is always improving.

A sales person has to be articulate, convinced themselves and talk with conviction about what product will do.

It is one thing to have a good idea, it is another thing for a person to be able to execute it. Track record of a person is the best indicator.

At interview ask problem solving questions that test the quality of a candidate’s thinking e.g. ‘How many gas stations in the United States?’

A site must have writers and editors to create editorial content, that makes it the most trustworthy and authoritative source of information on the subject, that people come back to for, in it’s own right.

Editorial content creates the shopping experience, comfort and trust in the site.

People like and want to be involved with people who are fun, exude energy and do things.

Staff get excited and enthusiastic about growing a company to be big.

To do things a better way, must have low regard for the usual way of doing things.

Caution and respect are the best way to meet with a business rival.

With retail, cash flow is helped by customers paying before, or when get the goods, but retailer pays suppliers much later. Use this cash to fund expansion.

Focus on and be concerned about customers, not competitors, as customers send the money, not competitors.

Be able to laugh at your disasters and mistakes.

Find people who have worked at the best competitors, so they can create that stuff for you. If at first they refuse to join you, try and try again.

To entice people to join you, find what they are interested in that their current employer does not do eg. ecommerce, then if you will give it importance, they will want to join you so they are doing that thing.

Put huge efforts into courting top people to join your company.

When a business grows, the people who were in top positions, may not be the best to be top anymore. They are not able to manage a bigger operation, the company can now attract better people etc. So they have to go to side positions. They normally then get frustrated and leave, as is like watching their child move, to be with another family.

Great engineers may not be able to manage a team, so useless when the company grows.

Barnes and Noble failed with online business compared to Amazon because:
●Not willing to lose money in what they saw as a small part of their business.
●Did not put their most resourceful employees on it, as believed it would take sales away from their stores.
●Distribution geared towards large shipments of books to physical stores and not small amounts to customers. This also led to long, painful and full of errors customer service.

People have different traits. Jeff Bezos said ‘Physically, I’m a chicken. Mentally, I’m bold’.

He believes in being bold. Bold and not timid, doing investments where decent probability of getting a leadership advantage.

Some investments will pay off, others will not, they learn valuable lessons in either case.

Decisions based on long term prospects of boosting free cash flow and growing market share, rather than short term profitability.

1st, metrics that indicate market leadership: customer and revenue growth, degree that customers continue to purchase on a repeat basis, strength of the brand.

Invest to expand and leverage customer base, brand and infrastructure to create an enduring franchise.

Focus on your own business, not investing in and working on lots of other companies.

Be strictly frugal on all daily operations, executives fly coach class etc.

Pay for things with cash, be frugal in giving away equity.

Hire the best in each field, continually court them to work for you, until they eventually say yes.

Jeff Bezos decides and approves things and not have to go to anyone else for approval.

Get staff from another related company that is best in it’s field. Then try and get those staff to use their connections in social events etc. to stealthily recruit more staff from that company.

Sam Walton, the Wal Mart founder ‘It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business.’

Make sure company does not become inactive and slow moving like an institution.

As a toy retailer, have to predict a year in advance what will sell and in what quantities, then order it from manufacturers. Any stock left after Christmas, is sold off for almost nothing. So need specialist buyers who really can predict the toy market.

In every negotiation and discussion with staff, suppliers etc. make it like the end customer, has a seat at the table. This is so bring up and put focus on their side and how things willing effect them.
Negotiations are long, involved and excruciating, but it leads to the bits where the profit margin is.

If a company always stays focused on the customer, it will always be fine, even during tough times. Must be focused on the experience that the customer has using your service.

Get a big well known and wanted zeitgeist item, sell it at a loss, to gain pr and customers who will be so happy they hopefully stay loyal and buy other things in the future. This needs courage, bravery and might un nerve senior executives as costs so much, but is needed to stay ahead of competitors.

Executives told must think like an owner of the business. To make it work in practice, asked after they make decisions, ‘Is that what an owner of the business would choose?’

For customer services they track:

1, time an employee spends on phone with a customer
2, phone calls and emails sent by customers per order

And aims to reduce both.

Aim is that self help tools means customers never need to call or email at all.

Executives have to prove their performance and statements with figures and statistics.

An executive should do mystery shopper tests with all parts of the business eg. make a mystery customer service call. Make sure quality matches the performance figures given by executives.

Add rankings wherever can as people want to be top, make these rankings transparent. Eg show customers and sellers sales volume ranking for all products, each stock pickers speeds in warehouse. People will be addicted to the game.

A new business that fails is not a mistake, it is an experiment, which will probably go into other experiments that each evolve into other ideas later on.

Need to try out ideas that are outlandish, even if employees think they are ‘fever dreams’.

Customers want to get things immediately and this is a big challenge and new ideas on how to do things.

Staff will always see reasons, why should not try something new.

An interesting clever and capable person you know, probably knows other such people. Use that connection to find out and meet other people they know, that could be useful.

Need to be:
•self aware
•know how far can push something

When looking for managers, if they are very versatile, intelligent, move quickly and get big things done. It is more important than if they have experience in the industry the company works in.

A boss must have truly high standards that staff have to meet, expressing they are needed, or will be beaten by competitors and not settle for less.

For a company to be frugal, the boss must also do it himself with his own company expenses.

Amazon values:
•customer obsession
•bias for action (even if does not work, had taken a risk and been resourceful?))
•high bar for talent

Every company as it grows begins to compromise their standards in recruitment to get the people it needs. A senior person good at hiring, must do the final interview each time to ensure that does not happen.

Has to be a fast pace of hard work and bug work loads. Some will resist and leave as not what they want. The company accepts that ‘if cannot excel and put everything into it, this might not the place for you’.

They do the warehousing so they master everything that touches the customer experience.

Do everything you can for a problem not to let down a customer.

If a person is an astute listener, they can get people to confront their own shortcomings. This can also enable them as an adjudicater, to resolve tensions between people.

A company where bosses are focused on saleries and perks, not the business, will not do well.

When loads of money in a business, or from investors, easy to have a fever of reckless binges, spending on investments that will not pay back.

During hard economic climates, conviction, improvisation, discipline, efficiency and eliminating waste helps a company survive.

Hard economic times help companies get creative in improving efficiency, as they have to.

Suppliers will demand shorter payment times, if they think the company might go bust, so not be able to pay them. Suppliers may need a presentation of your finances to be reassured.

Money is made by:
•building a lasting company
•learning from mistakes
•A company not being based on the industry it is in, but with the abstract concept of starting with the customer and working backwards.

People may not like something as it changes their own identity, so want it to fail so that will not happen.

As a toy retailer, have to predict a year in advance what will sell and in what quantities, then order it from manufacturers. Any stock left after Christmas, is sold off for almost nothing. So need specialist buyers who really can predict the toy market.

In every negotiation and discussion with staff, suppliers etc. make it like the end customer, has a seat at the table. This is so bring up and put focus on their side and how things willing effect them.

Negotiations are long, involved and excruciating, but it leads to the bits where the profit margin is.

If a company always stays focused on the customer, it will always be fine, even during tough times. Must be focused on the experience that the customer has using your service.

Get a big well known and wanted zeitgeist item, sell it at a loss, to gain pr and customers who will be so happy they hopefully stay loyal and buy other things in the future. This needs courage, bravery and might un nerve senior executives as costs so much, but is needed to stay ahead of competitors.

Executives told must think like an owner of the business. To make it work in practice, asked after they make decisions, ‘Is that what an owner of the business would choose?’

For customer services they track:

1, time an employee spends on phone with a customer
2, phone calls and emails sent by customers per order

And aims to reduce both.

Aim is that self help tools means customers never need to call or email at all.

Executives have to prove their performance and statements with figures and statistics.

An executive should do mystery shopper tests with all parts of the business eg. make a mystery customer service call. Make sure quality matches the performance figures given by executives.

Each person in charge of a different section eg. Children’s books.

Should have one page for each product so is an authoritive product catalogue that is useful in it’s own right as a catalogue. It explains product once in one listing that goes to one page, then choices of sellers in that page. Not lots of listings, each seperate listing from each seller, goes to seperate page from each different seller.

If someone else on Amazon marketplace sells the same product for cheaper than Amazon, let them do it and then Amazon figure out how they are able to do it.

Staff, suppliers etc will always say is unfair if something else comes out that is cheaper or better than them. They will try to find reasons to try and stop this new rival thing, even if they are not true. Even if upsets other staff in the business,, still have to do it.

At Wal Mart the world’s biggest retailer, to be frugal even top executives stay at cheap hotel chains.

Walmart sees advertising and pricing as two ends of the same thing. They spend a small percentage of their turnover on advertising, because they spend that money on reducing prices. The marketing strategy is their pricing strategy, of everyday low pricing.

During rapid expansion, very easy to over staff things.

Costco business model:
•value trumps everything
▪is about customer loyalty
•value is why customers will go to their strange store locations
•mark up everything 14%, even if could get more. Wall Street always want them to raise prices on higher margin categories, but they will not.
•yearly membership fee makes all of their gross profit and is one time pain for customers, but re inforces concept of prices cannot find elsewhere such as tv $200 cheaper than anywhere else.
•has no need to advertise due to their low prices
•huge numbers of suppliers will not supply them as they sell so cheap, but sales volumes, they pay their bills on time and keep their promises, so eventually they will.

Make sure none of your products have higher prices than elsewhere.

Some retailers work out how to charge more, others work out how to charge less. Amazon are the second.

A company has to decide what it is great at.

Self reinforcing loop, like a flywheel that gets quicker and quicker:
1,low prices
2, more customer visits
3,more sales volumes
4, more commission paying sellers attracted to the site
5, Get more from fixed costs like fulfillment centres and web servers.
6, Can lower costs further
7, Back to point 1

To test an advertising medium, advert itself etc. Need to stop it running in an area, to see how well the ad actually works and compare where ad does and does not run.

Savings in advertising, goes into improved customer experience, which leads to more customers from word of mouth. This accelerates the flywheel.

Seperate customers:
•time sensitive pay for free shipping
•non time sensitive get free delivery.

Airlines seperate consumer from business customers by who is staying at their destination on a Saturday night. They charge each one differently.

Discounts for ordering more, such as free shipping for orders over a certain amount, encourages customers to buy more.

Working for a boss with high standards is hard, but people in hindsight will be amazed on what they had achieved.

Staff who are not good are rejected, good staff are asked to do all they can.

Exit interviews with staff are important and dine privately with the Jeff Bezos. Make it a nice chat with people who leave. However must fully enforce non compete clauses, if executives go to rival businesses.

Focus in business goals that will be long term like unlimited selection, not short term cash generation things, however lucrative.

The editorial dept gives a human touch to the pages on the site. Uses clever and entertaining writing, plus intuition in what to promote.

The site’s software recommends other things customer might like based on their previous purchases and what they have looked it.

However the software out performed the editorial and writing dept, so it was closed down.

Then came software that did automatically generated recommendations and a standard layout, so no people needed.

Adopted children can have a very high need to prove themselves and be successful.

Need a tireless work ethic, which he got from his parents.

Need to be totally and incredibly focused and determined on what are doing.

Need to value self-reliance, resourcefulness and hate inefficiency. Try everything, nothing cannot do, although must not push it too far.

It is harder to be kind than clever.

Need to be able to be tough, but also sweet and loyal.

To achieve things, need to be self disciplined.

Once decide what want, work hard for it.

Need to be very creative.

Parents need to nurture a child’s creativity.

When teenager knew needed to be wealthy to create his personal goals, such as saving humanity with orbiting space station human colonies, with earth as a nature reserve.’

Technology, patience and long term thinking pays off.

Amazon’s guiding philosophy ‘Step by step, steady progress towards seemingly impossible goals will win the day. Setbacks are temporary. Naysayers are best ignored.’

When just selling books on the site and raising more money from investors, he did not tell anyone including investors, his secret plans which were to eventually sell everything on the site. This is probably because people would have thought it too was much to achieve and not believable. He does not tell people his bigger next stage goals.

Company gets bigger it outgrows it’s internal structures and so:
•more complicated
•harder to keep everyone co ordinated and moving quickly
•interdependent divisions waste time co ordinating with each other

Themes like ‘Get Big Fast’, or ‘Get Our House in Order’ etc. help get people in company to go in right direction.

To sort out their distribution sytems:
•brought in scientists and engineers, not retail distribution veterans
•hired all of the 10 smartest peoole they knew
•used maths and algorithms to work out where and when to stock products, how most efficiently put combine customers’ orders into a single box etc.
•computer works out each fulfilment centre’s demand, excess capacity and backlogs, then passes the order to the correct one.
•carefully track metrics like, shipments each fulfilment centre received, how many orders shipped out, how many not shipped, how big is backlog and why, per unit cost of packing and shipping each item, number and contents of trucks waiting to drop off and deliver things etc. Conference each day, where managers reports these figures and must have them ready before the meetings.
•gave mistakes serious names so taken seriously
•each year must reduce defects and increase productivity

Toyota lean manufacturing philosophy: •Company rationalise every expense in terms of value it creates for customers.
•Workers pull red cord and stop all production on the floor if they find a defect.

If a company needs more communication to avoid chaos, means things not working in a close organic way. Need to work out how teams can communicate and co ordinate less, so not use up time to do this.
Adding manpower to complex projects delays progress, as needs more time and money spent on communication. So teams no bigger than 10 for each problem.

Need to question the orthodoxies in every industry and process. Be critical and throw around crazy ideas of how can do things better.

To solve problems and work out solutions, a CEO has to be able to properly work on shop floor with workers and managers.

Software designed for similar business models, may have serious shortcomings when used for yours.

Amazon goes with staff ideas when they are based on principles, maths, patience and tenacity.

The CEO needs to roam the business looking for defects, flaws in the company’s systems and culture.

Reward employees who identify activities that are beaurocratic and wasteful. Also award that helps company do things to lower price to customers. These help re inforce the values within the company.

People in business need to know that running a business is hard, is not a place to go to retire.

A company cannot make a good decision about a feature or product, without knowing precisely how it would be communicated to the world and what the hallowed customer would make of it.

Steve Jobs was known for the clarity of his insights about what the customer wanted.

Need to be able to be charming and have great humour in public, but in private also able to do very firm discipline with staff.

Things that cause disciplinary action:
•not have right answer
•trying to bluff right answer
•take credit for someone else’s work
•exhibited a whiff of internal politics
•any uncertainty or frailty in the heat of battle

Any bullshit, or making stuff up is the end of someone’s employment.

Stress to people if their work:
•should be A team, not the B team. Spending time with team staff, are a waste of the CEO’s time.
•if there is nothing interest in their plans for the business
•how if not brilliant are letting the CEO down
•if something is stupid
•if the CEO does not like something

A CEO has to be good at allocating capital, manpower and make hyper rational business decisions. Also needs to be focused on improving customer service and the company’s performance. There must be no tolerance of stupidity, even accidental stupidity. As a result people have to be expendable.

Need to care and be passionate about it, so will be angry if goes wrong, or is not brilliant.

Must have plans in place for emergency scenarios, if things fail with service delivery.

Make sure when negotiating with a supplier, have some business with a second supplier. So when negotiating with the first supplier, really can immediately stop using them and are not bluffing.

Business is Darwinian survival!

Start an online marketplace, bring retailers in, watch what they do and what they sell, understand it, then get into selling that thing yourself.

Do not be bound by the old rules of an industry.

Even small things, like being able to say delivery date, helps with marketing strategy.

Amazon Prime yearly subscription for free 2 day delivery, $79 small enough people will try it, large enough that people will not shop elsewhere which was it’s purpose.

Amazon Prime launched on guts and experience of knowing would change behaviour to bigger orders and in new categories, even though financial analysis said would be too expensive to provide the free two day shipping.

It fed the self propelling flywheel of customers spend more, volumes increase, can negotiate lower shipping prices which would fund Prime and lead to lower prices for customers and so more customers.


•Customers addicted to ordering and getting free 2 day delivery
▪Made most of it so ordered more
▪Only profitable once Amazon could ship entire order in one package

Unpopular with staff for first few years,
•worried would force them to do his other pet projects
•it’s estimated losses
•took a few years to show it was a success

Staff kept on dropping promotions for it and Jeff had to closely track it to ensure they promoted it.

Putting fulfilment centre’s where few other food jobs, let Amazon get away with exploiting staff. However theft was high.

Employee delinquency controlled by point system for late arrival etc.6 points and were let go and staff told system before they started and no second chances.

To prevent unionisation:
•Amazon listened to staff complaints to combat possible unionisation.
•Made it clear that unionisation would not be tolerated.
•High staff turnover made it hard to organise unionisation of workers.
•When 4 day German strike, Amazon would not negotiate with the union.
•Biggest is Amazon will fire people, eg. closed down call centre and say for another reason, but staff know is because they wanted to unionise. Will even fire people if technically not legal and then staff member has to fight to get job back.

•Customers addicted to ordering and getting free 2 day delivery
▪Made most of it so ordered more
▪Only profitable once Amazon could ship entire order in one package

Unpopular with staff for first few years,
•worried would force them to do his other pet projects
•it’s estimated losses
•took a few years to show it was a success

Staff kept on dropping promotions for it and Jeff had to closely track it to ensure they promoted it.

Putting fulfilment centre’s where few other food jobs, let Amazon get away with exploiting staff. However theft was high.

Employee delinquency controlled by point system for late arrival etc.6 points and were let go and staff told system before they started and no second chances.

To prevent unionisation:
•Amazon listened to staff complaints to combat possible unionisation and
•Made it clear that unionisation would not be tolerated.
•High staff turnover made it hard to organise unionisation of workers.
•When 4 day German strike, Amazon would not negotiate with the union.
•Biggest is Anazon will fire people, eg. closed down call centre and say for another reason, but staff know is because they wanted to unionise. Will even fire people if technically not legal and then staff member has to fight to get job back.

Institutions normally always say no to unorthodox moves by saying no to things. However an entrepreneur needs to be able to do a series of improbable, expensive and riskey bets. Needs to be able invent ways of making money

Jeff Bezos can quickly understand complex new computer algorithms. Also how people work in warehouses etc.

To help develop its search algorithm, the Amazon website collected a vast trove of customer data, from the moment it opened for business.

Need to open development centres where the best pools of technical talent are. Here small teams work on isolated projects, so have energy and agility of a startup, while minimising the need for communication with the larger company.

They are world class for customers, employees not so much and suppliers not at all. In the end they believe it is customers that matter. However if go too far, the company will be very damaged by loosing best staff to rival companies.

They do all they can to make sellers compete on the site.

Amazon is a business with data at ut’s heart and it’s systems are built around that.

Automated tools so buyers order merchandise based on dozens of variables like:
•seasonal trends
•past purchasing behaviors
•how many customers searching for particular product at certain times

Bots scan rival sites and lower Amazon’s prices if they are ever more expensive. Ensured Amazon always matched the lowest prices elsewhere, offline or online.

System held buyers accountable for:
•Products being in stock
•Prices competitive

System showed if a person was not doing this and Amazon disciplined the buyer.

The person in charge must pay attention to and not allow dramas and political disputes within a company to fester. One example is if someone else is jealous of another staff member.

Do you can to hire the brightest minds in each field.

Look for bottlenecks in processes, so can remove them.

Even if faster than every other company, still try and go faster.

So third party developers can be as productive as possible with the API, they give them as many of Amazon’s things as possible through it. Amazon could never imagine what people will create, so the bits are broken down into the smallest possible tiny pieces so developers can create new combinations and things. Eg. Payments, messaging, bandwidth etc.

They are world class for customers, employees not so much and suppliers not at all. In the end they believe it is customers that matter. However if go too far, the company will be very damaged by loosing best staff to rival companies.

They do all they can to make sellers compete on the site.

Amazon is a business with data at ut’s heart and it’s systems are built around that.

Automated tools so buyers order merchandise based on dozens of variables like:
•seasonal trends
•past purchasing behaviors
•how many customers searching for particular product at certain times

Bots scan rival sites and lower Amazon’s prices if they are ever more expensive. Ensured Amazon always matched the lowest prices elsewhere, offline or online.

System held buyers accountable for:
•Products being in stock
•Prices competitive

System showed if a person was not doing this and Amazon disciplined the buyer.

The person in charge must pay attention to and not allow dramas and political disputes within a company to fester. One example is if someone else is jealous of another staff member.

Do you can to hire the brightest minds in each field.

Look for bottlenecks in processes, so can remove them.

Even if faster than every other company, still try and go faster.

So third party developers can be as creative as possible with the API, they give them as many of Amazon’s things as possible through it. Amazon could never imagine what people will create, so the bits are broken down into the smallest possible pieces so developers can create new combinations and things . Eg. Payments, messaging, bandwidth etc. The smaller, more simpler and primative the bits, the more that can be rearranged.

Even set up in a different country if that is where the tech talent is, if a talented staff member wants to move to the home country, get them to set up a development have there to build a project.

The leader must have a very clear vision of where the project will eventually go to and be. Also how to do it must be figured out in advance, not as the project goes a long.

The leader who is selected for a project, must be someone that the staff in that project think is competent to lead them.

A company needs to try doing daring things, in order to be great. However institutions tend to say no, when decisions like this come along.

Important to be a good, persistent and tenacious negotiator, even for things that are a small amount of your net worth. Keep going with a negotation and never give up, it can take months.

If there is a decision that staff are not happy with, if the CEO says that he or she will take responsibility for it and the outcome of doing it that way, the staff will be happy to proceed.

Create a company with the advantage of a low cost structure, so can survive in a low margin business.

Amazon expects staff to do impossible missions, to impossibly high standards, on a shoestring budget.

Software needs to be designed so that unsophisticated people can use it, such as grandmothers etc. Eg. needs to be pre set up to fully use, automatically connect to other devices etc.

If a new technology or product that the market will move to, is less profitable and will destroy and overtake your old very profitable business. Better that you bring it out, than someone else does. To do this need to set up new autonomous organisations, charged with building new and independent businesses around the disruptive technology. Those new seperate organisations, will be happy to do things that kill the old business. Those businesses have to make it sound alluring, to attract the brightest and best talent. Each business must do 1 thing with total focus and aspire to be the best.

A new product idea may have flaws and set backs when first bring it out, but if it is where you believe the market is going in the long term, do not be deterred, persevere with changes and improvements until it works.

In all business ideas and decisions, start with the customer, and work backwards.

A good staff member will be excited by the challenge of building new things, even moving from the established big thing they are already in charge of.

A staff member needs to just have one business unit, or will not go after each one with tenacity.

Read lots and lots of books of other people’s ideas. Be in touch with other people who are creating things and ideas that you can work with and learn from.

Go into a market not being done well by anyone else.

To create a great music solution and be the biggest in the market, Apple made the Ipod portable music player, Itunes computer based music buying software etc. all a seemless one thing.

Have massive goals for building great products and services that provide to the customer, not matter if staff think you are insane as so hard to do.

If staff believe strongly that something should be done, but the CEO does not agree. The CEO must do what he/she believes should be done.

The entrepreneur works out the business model, product designers and engineers may not understand, or agree with it. So the entrepreneur must ensure the designers create what he/she believes it should be.

Need to put pressure on suppliers, if need something that they do not want to supply.

Need to use size and growth, to get bigger and bigger discounts from suppliers. A monopolistic position in the marketplace helps to do this. Need to be diplomatic to suppliers, so they do not group together and rebel.

Supply chain must:
•automatically buy from cheapest source
•rules for suppliers to follow
•suppliers can pay promotional fees, to be in more prominent position on site, like store retailers do.
•listen to, be sensitive to and address supplier’s needs
•use things retailer does, like lower returns of unsold stock to get refunds, to get better prices from suppliers.
•Negotiate in all areas, eg. Credit terms etc.
•if supplier not comply, not put in personalisation and recommendation system, so product available, but not promoted and their sales go down up to 40%. After a month of this, they approach Amazon agreeing to the terms.
• sell pushy demands to suppliers, by saying the benefits passed on to customers. Constant and continuous negotiation with suppliers for this purpose.
• suppliers with lower sales and profit margins for Amazon, must improve the deals for Amazon, or get decreased promotion.
• retailer tells supplier how much it will pay for products and demands concessions if it believes supplier’s profit margin is too high

They negotiate much harder with smaller publishers, that they really depend on them.

To keep future negotiations civilised, both parties must feel like they gain something valuable out of the current transaction.

Instant gratification, of instantly getting the product or service 24/7, is a huge selling point.

To keep a new product secret, only way is to not show it to people, as even with non disclosure agreements, some people will say.

First negotiate with suppliers using inducements, then if not work use threats like not putting them in prominent places on site and recommendations.

Must not tolerate delays from suppliers.

Sometimes need to choose what to price a product, using gut feel and not research. Also can use experience from other industries or sectors.

Can loose money on selling a new device as then customers will come to you for future purchases. So is an investment in getting customers.

Keep secret things that may mean people, or other parties, want to stop, or not be involved with a project as not in their interests. Not lie, just not mention that factor. If asked about it, say not yet been decided.

To create gadget that succeeds, focus on making it do what people want, before making it look sexy.

Be careful not to over order stocks of an entirely new product, better to order more if it sells well.

To sell a new product, need to educate and promote new ideas of the product to customers.

To build a new product franchise, need to be able to withstand short term losses from the costs of advertising it.

When supply something, make sure think about and have all the caveats of how the customer can use it in writing. Eg. What it cannot be sold for less than a certain price.

Technological advances that reduce cost of supply, will lead to losses and pain for prople in some parts of the supply processes.

Distribution systems focused on efficency and selection.

After a customer joins Amazon Prime, they double their spending. This is because each time come to the site, they end up buying far more and from different categories, as well as what they intended to buy when arriving at the site. This meant that more suppliers wanted to stock and ship from Amazon’s fulfillment centres, so their products benefitted from Amazon’s free 2 day shipping.

Make sure when doing new businesses, company still invests in, fixes and improves existing primary business, or it will wither and rivals will overtake it.

An online marketplace must stop sellers who overcharge, or charge more than other sites, for things like postage and packing.

Trust between colleagues helps remove acrimony between them. This trust is built up from having worked with each other for a long time.

Even if are a key staff member, if they are not brilliant, must have no concerns or worries about them leaving.

Must be deeply gracious and appreciative to staff that perform heroically, with unexpected thoughtful presents to express appreciation.

A great CEO:
1, Embraces truth and engage their decision making around the best truth at the time.
2, Not be tethered by conventional thinking, can change everything, everything is open for discussion.

Use bruises from the comoany’s past mistakes, to try and build the right culture.

Get as much feedback as possible and take it seriously.

People will work at a company for less money, if it has a great internal culture.

Zappos online shoe sales firm offers no charge rerurns on items for up to a year after purchase. So customers can order 4 pairs if shoes, return 3 and keep one if them.

Look at book ‘Delivering happiness: A path to Profits, Passion and Purpose’ by Tony Hseih.

To compete with Amazon and not squander the opportunity a company needs, more great engineers, great software, talented people, more sophisticated fulfillment capabilities and to move quickly.

Amazon has loads of ways to out compete rivals.

When given the choice of obsessing over competitors, or obsessing over customers, should obsess over customers. Pay attention to what competitors do, but not where should put your energy.

Customers would rather have as much self service as possible in the business and so pay lower prices.

A company will die if it looses touch with what customers want, the changing tastes of consumers and the ‘truths of the time’.

If company does what stock market wants, it will not focus on the customer correctly and do what is right for the very long term.

Need to be careful of costs that cannot be quickly cut in a recession, like long term leases. Especially for less good parts of the business, that could bring the whole company down.

Need staff to have very high standards and know what they are doing.

Amazon will stop selling a supplier’s products if it does not get what it wants, but customers can still buy through third party sellers on the site.

Premium brands would not sell to Amazon as did not want their brands tarnished with bargain basement prices.

To act in the interests of customers, may have to do things that go against the interests of suppliers. Need to do those things to dominate the market, even if the suppliers try and stop you from doing it. Most suppliers will try and stop you, but still supply you, as they need to sell through your dominant sales channel.

Can use dominance in one industry, to transition into other similar ones.

To stop a fight between companies, mention the collateral damage, such as how customers, authors and all other people affected by it.

Whereas Amazon might be forced to accept deal terms from big monopolistic suppliers, Amazon makes medium and smaller sized suppliers adhere to the terms Amazon wants and those terms are totally different. It will stop selling the items of smaller suppliers, until they submit.

The stock market may not like a new business at the start of it going on the stock market, but after a while, once they understand what it can do, the stock price can go massively up.

Amazon goes to massive lengths to do structures and methods that lowers their taxes and uses them to pass the savings on to customers. It is a big part of their competitive advantage. The 80 person tax department uses internal company rulebooks, flowcharts and maps to do this. Affects all staff instructions documents for what can do, say, go, when, where, how can do things, company in group working for etc. Staff told why it is critical to do these things. It is co ordinated and organised by company’s lawyers, who issue questionnaires to staff to:
•ensure staff are doing things correctly
•collect information to enable the lawyers to organise and label things using the right wording.

Missionaries end up making more money than mercenaries. Amazon is a missionary.
Missionaries have righteous goals and are trying to make the world a better place.
Mercenaries are out for power and money and will run over anyone who gets in the way.

If a politician threatens state taxes, they normally back down once Amazon threatens to close down a fulfilment centre in the state and so hundreds of job losses. Will also use carrot of promising to build fulfilment centres in a state. It fights in all kinds of ways.

Be a far sighted chess player, once lost one advantage, cultivate other ones.

Secretly buy large volumes from competitors, to create data that measures quality and speed of their services. This data goes to the top of the company.

Amazon has strict non disclosure agreements and strong possible legal consequences for speaking publically about things.

By selling lots of categories, can massively drop prices in one category and cope with losses. They do this to force a rival that just does one category, out of business; or to sell their business to Amazon because they are scarred that Amazon could even sell the things in the category for free.

Customers offered monthly subscription for diaper deliveries, to get big savings, free for first year Amazon Prime membership, etc.

If a big rival company wants to acquire a company which has techniques that could put them ahead of you, or bring them up to the same level. Make sure you acquire them, not the rival.

High end manufacturers ensure retaillers sell their items for a high price to:
●protect the brand
●ensure as many retailers as possible will and can sell the items, as not cheaper elsewhere.
●stop retailers demanding lower wholesale prices
Amazon does all kinds of tricks, to get around this.
If a manufacturer cuts off supply, Amazon believes they will eventually supply them again. As Amazon has great information on products and reviews about a vast selection of products. So it is where customers go when they are ready to buy.
Amazon may get the manufacturer back by promising not to lower prices again, but soon they break their promise. They do this by justifying that selllers on their Marketplace and elsewhere on the web, are selling for cheaper and Amazon has to match the lowest price. Manufacturer will say that these lower prices are not from authorised retailers.

For those manufacturers that have removed direct supply to Amazon, the products are still available through the Amazon Marketplace.

A store can explain a high end product’s advantages in a way that a website cannot, so worth a manufacturer protecting the store’s margins, so they can sell the items by ensuring online retailers do not sell it for less.

Amazon’s mission is to drive inefficiencies out of the supply chain, to lower prices to customers.

When Amazon sees a product selling briskly on the marketplace, it starts selling the item directly itself.

The cheapest seller of a product gets the default ‘buy box’, causes sellers to race to it being sold for £0. So sellers need to learn to source hot new products, gain exclusives and build a lean organisation. Many that leave, return due to 200 million active users and brisk sales. For sellers it is like heroin, as first they get brisk sales, but then Amazon undercuts them on price. The sellers complain, but in doing so, they just cut themselves off.

If suppliers do not supply Amazon, they are told:
•Amazon will get supplies through the grey market
•every time a customer searches for their product, they will be taken to adverts for their direct rivals’ products

Even if manufacturer stops supplying:
Amazon will not give contact details of Marketplace sellers on their site, so manufacturers cannot see how they are getting their supplies, or who they are.
Other authorised dealers also sell the manufacturers products through ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’, so the customer benefits from Amazon Prime free delivery.

Amazon sells refurbished, slightly damaged new stock and used products itself on the marketplace using it’s brand to get around the manufacturer’s set retail prices. Amazon wants to become biggest liquidator on the planet and uses to get around a manufacturer’s set prices.

Track which firms could become future rivals.

Have packaging materials, branding etc. that means it is easily recognisable to consumers. Make sure it forms a good bond with consumers.

More boards of directors, shareholders and other stakeholders, means more conflicting opinions.

Amazon’s first priority is selling customers products and services, at the lowest possible price. Their second priority is giving customers the choice of being able to buy anything.

If even a big retailer’s supply for a market comes from a small number of large companies, then the retailer has to do what those supplying companies insist on.

If supply comes from lots of small suppliers and there is a very large retailer, then the suppliers have to do what the retailer insists on.

Need to always focus on how your products can be better than other rivals, especially if can be sold for a cheaper price.

Amazon self service website meant loads of books could be put on there, market determines economic rewards. Not publishing editors who subjectivity decide what market will like and slow innovation. Even improbable ideas get tried and many of those end up working. So Amazon wanted to cut out the need for publishers.

Even if a new business idea has massive problems in the short term, like existing players trying to stop it, gauge the success of it in the long term.

Price comparison app so users could take pictures or scan items in shops, see if Amazon cheaper. Amazon gave discount up to $15 if customer then bought on Amazon. Also enabled Amazon to find out prices of retail rivals.
Lesson: give customers way to see that your are cheaper and use it to find out rival’s prices.

If customers are not satisfied with it’s products, customers will not come out and defend it’s critics.

Jeff Bezos wrote the following for a company to conduct itself and be perceived, so be liked by their customers, loved, perceived of as cool. Not be feared and hated.

Then ranked companies other by how well they did each:

Not cool:
Defeating tiny guys
Obsessing over competitors
Capturing all the value for the company
Pandering to the crowd

Risk taking
Defeating bigger unsympathetic guys
Empowering others
Thinking big
The unexpected

He also said being reliable helps gets a company to be loved.

To be loved:
•Being polite, reliable and customer obsessed is not enough.
•Need other things such as a pioneering spirit that can come across and be perceivable by the customer base.

Amazon is about gaining customer loyalty for their purchases.

Official internal emergency system:
Sev-5: minor and engineer can fix during course of a normal workday.
Sev-1: urgent problem that sets off a cavalcade of pagers, requires immediate response and situation will be reviewed by member of the senior management team.

Bezos has email address for customers to escalate things to->Jeff Bezos forwards with just a question mark->staff member drop everything so in a few hours can solve problem and say about how happened ->response reviewed by succession of managers->goes to Jeff Bezos.

Amazon’s direct marketing tool decentralised, so product managers can direct emails to customers who look at a product, but have not made a purchase.

Truth springs forth when people debate their different ideas and perspectives. Can get quite confrontational.

No amount of revenue is ever worth jeopardizing customer trust and the company’s bond with customers. Even if such a choice will reduce the long-term revenue that comes from that part of the business.

Anecdotes and feedback from customers are researched carefully, because they say something about the company’s metrics and processes. They are a precious source of information.

Need to put filtering tools in software, so staff cannot do certain things that may not be good for the business.

Metrics rather than editorial judgement makes every important decision including what features to introduce. However feedback from just one customers can also change a policy, if it reflects a larger problem.

Jeff Bezos will put a lot of attention on a single area if there is a problem there.

High standards means, although stressful for staff, staff often regard it as the most productive time of their lives. With smart colleagues, challenging work, frequent lateral moves between departments giving constant opportunities for learning. Fierce competitiveness in everything staff do and pace of innovation is thrillling. Staff know how hard it is and have chosen to be there.

Attracts people who like to pioneer and invent, with the infrastructure and pace of a startup.

Jeff Bezos does not want social cohesion caused by desire to reach a consensus. Need to debate backed by numbers and passion. (I would rather backed by numbers, passion and desire to do the right choice)

The leadership principles are important to them, they are on their website:

1, Our Leadership Principles
Our Leadership Principles aren’t just an inspirational wall hanging. These Principles work hard, just like we do. Amazonians use them every day, whether they’re discussing ideas for new projects, deciding on the best solution for a customer’s problem, or interviewing candidates. It’s just one of the things that make Amazon peculiar.

2, Customer Obsession
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

3, Ownership
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”

4, Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here”. Because we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

5, Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong business judgment and good instincts.

6, Hire and Develop The Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognise exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organisation. Leaders develop leaders and are serious about their role in coaching others.

7, Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

8, Think Big
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

9, Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

10, Frugality
We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.

11, Vocally Self Critical
Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odour smells of perfume. Leaders come forward with problems or information, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

12, Earn Trust of Others
Leaders are sincerely open-minded, genuinely listen, and are willing to examine their strongest convictions with humility.

13, Dive Deep
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, and audit frequently. No task is beneath them.

14, Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

15, Deliver Results
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never compromise.

Benefits and Stock

There are many things to consider when deciding on your next employer. At Amazon, we offer employees the chance to work with great people on…

People who can cope with confrontation love it, those who cannot leave and go elsewhere.

It is a mix of being a corporation and startup.

Company sends threatening letter if employee takes a similar job at a competitor.

Constantly loads of staff leaving, but is an accomplished recruiter of new talent, helped by appeal of a steadily increasing stock price.

Amazon gives industry average base salary, a signing bonus spread over 2 years and a grant of restricted stock units over 4 years. Unlike other technology companies such as Google and Microsoft which spread the stock grants evenly, Amazon backloads the grants towards the end of the four year period o try and make staff stay, keep working hard and not coast.
End of year one they get 5% of their shares, 15% end of second year; 20% every 6 months over final 2 years.

Managers in apartments for 50 people or more are required to grade there subordinates akong a curve and must dismiss the least effective performers.

There are no perks, eg. staff have to pay for meals at the cost price. Company constantly searching for ways to reduce costs and pass the savings onto customers.

Jeff Bezos personally chairs operating reviews done every 6 months, each teams write down plan for next 12 months. Documents from each team are 6 pages, with a few rules called tenets at the top of each, which show principles for each group, that guide hard decisions and enable them to move fast without constant supervision.

The startup areas get more attention from Jeff Bezos, they are harder and more stressful for staff to work in.

At weekly meetings each department meets with their managers, the numbers from long spreadsheets show them what is working, what is broken, how customers are behaving and how well company is performing.

The executive team force employees to look at the numbers and answer every single question about why specific things happened. For employees this is scary and impressive. As Amazon has so much volume, this means can make quick decisions, not have subjective debates and the data does not lie.

These meetings culminate with weekly business review. 60 managers of the retail business gather in one room to:
•review their departments,
•share data about defects
•inventory turns
•complex interactions among different parts of the company.

Jeff Bezos is not at these meetings.

Jeff Bezos gets very involved and thinks about whatever area he believes there is a crisis in, or is not good enough.

Good email newsletters are short, well written, informative and entertaining (not boring). Simple design, stripped down and not complicated. Punchy headlines are important. Writers accountable for getting revenue from their articles.

People held accountable for caring about things.

Their service allowing advertisers to reach customers on all Amazon websites and devices, is highly profitable, helps subsidise free shipping, low prices and funds some of the company’s expensive long term projects.

Amazon is excited to be able to offer customers lower prices.

If a company can lower prices as is more efficient, other companies will try and stop it through legal means, dodgy arguments etc.

If think long term, can achieve things normally would not accomplish. Time horizons matter a lot. Amazon was a multi decade project.

Must be willing to fail and be misunderstood.

Defects invisible to the knowledgeable, may be obvious to newcomers.

Complicated and contradictory goals makes it hard for people to help you. Be clear and simple goals about your goals and articlate them in a way that makes it easy for others, because they are consistent.

Amazon 3

Need to have the skill of efficiently dispersing time across many responsibilities and multiple projects.

Jeff Bezos invests in things where technology can disrupt existing models.

Be strict details, where costs are going, alongside understand the importance of design.

Jeff Bezos has an empty chair in meetings to represent the customer.

Jeff Bezos aim to take the inconvenience out of online shopping and deliver products and services to customers in the most efficient manner possible.

When loads of customers in an area, more efficient to use your own delivery trucks than outsource to courier companies.

Look at ways to eliminate cost from the supply chain.

Jeff Bezos tries to:
• Move faster
•Work his employees harder
•Make bolder bets
•Persue big inventions and small ones

Jeff Bezos ‘ We don’t have a single big advantage, so have to weave a rope of many small advantages’

Jeff Bezos is relentless.

To accomplish things that are big and unconventional. Intensity and drive of focus is essential and incompatible with all the nice management thought about consensus and gentle demeanour. Then can be quick and not need to slow down too much or modify ideas to make others feel comfortable.

Need clarity, vision, potential and values.

Need the ability to prioritise things.

Need to ensure top team get CEO’S way of working, so can act accordingly.

A big company has to leap forward, not just protect existing ground.

Need people who are bright, high growth potential, fluid minded people with the right values as people. People who prioritise customer trust and delight, at all times are long term focused and driven to be bold and innovative.

Jeff Bezos never really thought about personal wealth. Not thinking about ‘exits’ which affects the smallest choice. Just do something good, not just what gets them acquired, or funded.

Clear goals and values made even the small choices easy for staff to make. Also affected recruitment at all levels, so people who focused on their titles, traditional status metrics, security, or their own wealth, stood out and we’re not hired.

Some might say Jeff Bezos only accepting of high standards makes him hard to work with, but it means he attracts terrific people who want that and they stay for ages. People who want to pour their heart and soul into a mission.

Believe in what building and their very best was needed to have a hope of accomplishing the enormous potential ahead of them.

Jeff Bezos always purely focused on best outcomes for Amazon and customers, never a self interest or political dimension.

Need boldness, getting things done immediately, strict prioritisation and risk to achieve things.

Also need to run free with your own insights and directions, without compromising them to accommodate others.

A new idea always disrupts or disturbs somebody.

People can complain, but complaining is not a strategy.

One of Amazon’s call centres has 500 workers in off peak months and a thousand or more when call volumes spike before and after the holidays. They get $11 per plus small grants of stock that vest over a four year period. Is intense and exhausting work.

Only 3% of customers inclined to call it, those with a serious problem or just want a friendly voice at end of a phone.

Staff controlled by cold, data, which are internally called ‘metrics’.

Most weight put on customer satisfaction, based on emails sent to each customer after a call. It says ‘Did I solve your problem?’ and it has a Yes or No choice. Staff have targets for ratios of yes and nos, they are also ranked based on them.

They also look at calls per hour and average length of each call.

If staff member in lowest 15% of the rankings, they are placed on a ‘PIP’, Performance Improvement Plan and can be fired if not improve their numbers.

Is stressful as Amazon’s standards are so so high.

Amazon knows has hundreds of willing applicants so prefers to fire troubled employees.

Alleged infractions like hanging up on a customer, are all investigated.

They want staff to say if they disagree with something, but commit to doing it once company says must do it.

Such as help button on device showing live video of customer service person chatting with. They re invent normal, creating inventions that customers love and resetting expectations for what normal should be.

For pr say fun stories of things that have happened in the business.

Focus on innovation and customer orientation, refine and distill these values in persuit of:
•was the customer happy
•will they return again
•did I solve your problem, yes or no

Amazon shopping needs to be ease and simplicity

It is a low margin, low price approach.

Small teams are more effective than large ones, at handling complex software projects. So Amazon has lots of small teams.

Need a core ideology, those who embrace it flourish, those who reject it are expunged from the company like a virus.

Companies must confront brutal facts of their businesses, find out what uniquely good at and master their flywheel so each part of the business reinforces and accelerates the other parts.

Some companies reluctant to embrace disruptive technologies because might alienate customers and undermine core business, but ignoring potential disruption is even costlier.

When Amazon negotiated so hard on books that made it hard for customers to get hold of books from many publishers. Amazon said was negotiating on behalf of many customers, even though onlookers and authors criticised this.

In mandatory meetings with managers, Amazon puts intense pressure on staff not join a union, saying direct connection is most effective way to understand and respond to the wants and needs.lf their staff.

Suppliers and staff may not like Amazon as they find it to be a bully, are free to leave. However with other companies either retreating, disappearing, or having to copy Amazon to compete, increasingly there may not be different opportunities elsewhere.

Jeff Bezos says more from reading novels than non fiction.

Walmart is about selling things at a discount, this needs values of frugality, a bias for action and a willingness to try things out and make mistakes.

A busineds needs values of modesty and frugality in the organisation.

Small groups of engineers are more effective than large ones, at handling complex software projects.

Successful companies have a core ideology that guides them, only staff who embrace the central mission flourish, others are expunged like a virus from the company.

Company must confront brutal facts of it’s business, find out what uniquely good at, master their flywheel, in which each part of the business reinforces and accelerates the other parts.

Some companies are reluctant to embrace disruptive new technology, because it might alienate customers and undermined their core business. However ignoring potential disruption is even costlier as competitors with it, out compete and so destroy the business.

Identify the biggest constraints in company’s operations, then structure organisation to get the most out of those constraints.

Banish waste and create wealth by focusing on activities that create value for the customer and systematically eradicate everything else.

Use data metrics to measure everything from customer satisfaction to effetiveness of marketing. All assertions must be supported with data, if data has a weakness staff member must point it out or their colleagues will do it for them.

Simon Dolan, How to make millions without a degree

Things I learned from his book.

To be an entrepreneur, create a business by doing it yourself, your initiative, create what customers will want then go out there with it.

Get On With It GOWI

An entrepreneur needs GOWI, which stands for Get On With It.

Try loads of different things, with loads of different people, in loads of different ways, learning for each person at each time. This means they learn loads and loads and builds up a big network of people.

Once can do that job, or learned all need from it, time to move on so learn how to do more things and what are good at. Then use those skills to start your business.

They also learn some very marketable skills for their business, some of these may even make up what the business offers as a product or service. The entrepreneur will also discover what their natural abilities are and what comes easy to them.

An entrepreneur must not waste any time and GOWI.


Duplication is how go from a thousands to a billions pounds business, it grows little by little year by year. They open another, then another and so on. It is not a glamorous or exciting thing to do, which is why most millionaires only talk about the starting bit and when got there, not this bit in between. It takes many years and loads of patience, then have thousands of branches all over the world.

Each Mcdonalds branch only makes a quarterly net income of just $30k, but with 31 000 restaurants it makes a quarterly net income of $979.50 million.

Each Starbucks store only makes a net income of about $25k per year, but with 16 709 if them they make $390.8 million.

Each time the business is duplicated, the business is doubled.

First hire someone for the cheapest to fill position, such as licking stamps, stuffing envelopes, etc. Your income will go down at first while you train this person and so in total the business is not doing more work, but then income will go up once you are both working. If hire well, this person could even have the potential to become a regional manager etc.

Need to be able to duplicate yourself and duplicate the business.

Then have to keep a duplicate yourself, with somebody else doing the same job as you. It is difficult as needs trusting someone else. It takes courage, stepping away from the business realising it is something in its own right and a big leap of faith.

If the first person you had to do this does not work out, hire someone else and try again.

Need people who are naturally motivated and can work things out for themselves. Each person does do things a little bit differently and need to give them some flexibility.

The person must be passionate about the business with the great products/services you provide. As otherwise will not care about the job, will be demotivated and so cannot succeed.

Opening a new branch things are slow at first, slowly winning new customers, it takes time to gradually build up. Do not expect too much too soon and learn from each one.
Eg he was:
Year 1: 80 clients
Year 2: 150
Year 3: 300
Year 14: 10 000 clients

McDonald’s took about 40 years to be global success and Starbucks 20 years.

Most people massively overestimate what can achieve in a year and massively underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years.

Write manual outlining service should offer and guidelines for managers. Incentives them so treat business like their own, if work hard can read big rewards, make each branch as independent as possible and step back.

Employment and formal education

Do not expect others to give it to you, that is just getting a job in an organisation and depending on them, only doing things for them if and once they will pay you.

Authority says will be successful if do what told and they will give it to you, but maybe their way is not right so will not work and also they will not give it to you.  They do not know all of reality and their views on life change all the time.

Thinking for yourself, not just doing what told means you find out your real ability, do the maximum of your potential, engage in life, senses sharp, mind is alert and imagination is free.  Can be really yourself and not a clone of the person who is in charge.

Depending on someone to give you academic grades, creates dependency in a person, for safe comfortable positions in organisations. Business is actual creation of products or services that causes money to change hands in the grubby world of commerce. Without that experience it will remain a dark mystery. A person needs to be on the ground, in the real world, learning how business works, mucking in, doing what seems natural.

University can give false sense to a person that they know a lot of stuff, when in reality do not. May know about a lot of stuff, but not have actual skills based on experience, in terms of real ‘how to’ knowledge, know nothing.

Need to be at the bottom of the job ladder for a few years to learn what the real world is about, university can make people go into the job market at a higher level and so they are robbed of that.

The formal education system and being employed in a large organisation can be so ‘hand holding’, to succeed a person needs a taste of the real world.


Anyone with sales skills will not be out of a job for long and it is essential for business as well.

The first rule of sales is that the potential customer must like the sales person and the sales person needs to do what is needed for that happen. For example asking the potential customer what they do for a living and letting them talk about themselves, which they will love the sales person for doing and giving them attention.

Sales person: “What do you do for a living sir?”

Then after potential customer has answered say: “Is that right? You know I’ve always wanted to do that.”

It makes the potential customers feel great and you will get along really well.

Need sweet talk and huge enthusiasm.

If people do not want to buy now, offer them a very extra special package remaining for one very extra special people. Then need a deposit, even something small, this stop them from pulling out later.

To close the deal, is fine if have to hand over to a senior person who is best at that.

Dodgy sales people try to spend as long as possible with the customer, keep them there, in an enclosed space and get some deposit from them before they leave. This is because once they leave and get into to the real world, they will no longer want the product.


Only do things you see the point of, not just trust it because someone tells you.

So staff take responsibilty, things must have consequences. If staff member late, tell them that if not going to show up on time are of no use to the business, no exam retakes or cosy chats.  This is the real world, if they want the job and are good, then this will get their attention and they will never be late again.

Need to have focus to succeed.

An entrepreneur needs between a few months and a few years to work out what the should be doing. During this time doing lots of different jobs, business ideas and research to see what they are good at etc. Others will see this as messing around and failing, but the entrepreneur knows it is not.

To see if a person is honest, look at the first promise they make, do they promptly deliver on it without being asked and are they happy to deliver on it, specially if it is not in their favour. This may be a tiny tiny promise, which is why it can come so early on. People who offer dreams and make you wait for it, usually are con men.

Need to work hard starting a business signing up loads of clients, easy to work hard when is a labour of love.

The best ideas for a new business can come when at the end of the road, no money left, these ideas can work and be brilliant.

‘Borrow’ ideas from entrepreneurs who have succeeded before you.

A new thing may kill off the old business, but if can learn this new thing, you will be one of a lesser amount of people who can do and knows all about this new thing, as it is so new. Maybe new business from this will be bigger than the old one.

Amazing presentation can make even a mediocre product hot, display it on amazing things, wrap brilliantly so looks amazingly new and great etc.

Most entrepreneurs experience a few bumps in the road whilst amassing their fortune. Times when it looks like a venture is at it’s end, but a solution is eventually found.

Need know-how, guts, vision and luck.

Great to get into a business which is new and currently niche, but will soon become mainstream, because then will be in the right place to make a lot of money. Like Simon Caudwell who started in mobile phones when they were large and expensive. Then they became, smaller, cheaper and mainstream and he made £1.46 billion.

When people are working correctly they are so absorbed in what doing, they loose consciousness of themselves and world around them. It is like being in a trance and they do not notice the time pass and doing a job like that is easy.

Successful entrepreneurs often come from tough backgrounds, because from this they have learned that they have to do it themselves and no one is going to help them.

People prefer to hear stories of failure than stories of success, because these stories justify their own timidity. They feed on gossip about how vicious, crooked and vain rich people are because it allows them to feel superior. For this reason even close friends and family may secretly want you to fail. They want their belief in playing it safe to be reinforced.

Self belief is essential to set up a business and get rich. Have to believe that:
● Your goal is worthwhile
● You can achieve it
● you deserve to get rich

Need constructive thinking, like hope, responsibility, courage, affection, trust, curiosity, imagination, truth-telling. These lead to a long term elation and connect to other good things so does not stop. So takes you to better places characterised by knowledge, empathy, connection, understanding, empowerment, passion, energy, clarity and so on

The opposites are blame, self justification, resentment, envy, bitching, moaning etc. They scratch some kind of an itch but end in a puddle of bile. These are habits that can be changed.

Good thinking creates a good tomorrow, focus on what grows.

A person ends up where they want to be. The problem is people do not have a detailed destination in mind for their whole life, just a few dim shapes of maybe a holiday, relationship, or something and nothing very bold.

A person will end up where they aim to be, even if they are only aiming by going along with someone else’s thoughts. So an entrepreneur decides they themselves will choose where they want to end up.

People will often pour scorn over a person’s attempts at self improvement. People not like it if someone thinks they are better than everyone else, or worse wants to be better than everyone else.

Deadbeats and downers need deadbeats and downers around them as successful people are a threat to their authority.

People pressure others into failing like them, like school kids may pressure another svhool kid to start smoking.

Self belief is more important than capital, get, keep and guard it fiercely.


However educated, important and whatever line of business it is, the entrepreneur has to be able to sell. Without selling, there is no business. A magazine will only succeed if can sell advertising in it, etc.

Need selling at all levels of a business, for example:
●to get the best staff to join your business, work hard once in the business, etc. ●Negotiating with suppliers, have to sell the business to them, to get the best rates.
●selling franchises

These all take sales to get people to do these things.

Entrepreneur gets the ball rolling, then hires others to sell. Entrepreneur knows if they are doing it well or not, if they are not doing it well, immediately sorts it out.

Sales people are resilient. They are not discouraged by not selling anything and just getting no answers, people saying no and timewasters. As:
●Have had some nice chats with people
●Still more people can sell to
●With a new business, easier to get customers once already have them.
●Always get more ‘no’ than ‘yes’

Even if not good at selling, can be taught and acquire those skills. Practice and have fun with it. What matters is getting better at it than was before.

Money always goes to good sales people.

Choosing a business

The biggest is for it to be based on who you are, secondly on your situation.

1, Be Narrow

Look for a niche, the narrow gate. Not the big door everyone has noticed and is going for.

The markets where have to be big to compete, like cars, computer operating systems or supermarket pasta sauces
▪need too much money to advertise to the whole population
▪the markets are so big there are so many people competing for the space.
▪is a huge thing to do the marketing, distribution, process manufacturing and economies of scale. Takes a lifetime, or a team of experts to learn.

Normally people go for these big mass markets as want to be famous. As it is so hard, it can be an excuse for doing nothing.

NIche is not just doing VAT returns, but doing just for IT contractors.

Define a community, know where they hang out, what they talk about and worries them.
So know how to get in front of them with your message.

Doing stands in office where sell books to office staff, display books and one week later take the orders sell books to office staff. The Book People has turnover of £97 million doing this, as they buy the books outright and not sale or return, get great discounts from the publishers.

To get rich the business needs to be infinitely expandable such as going national etc.

2, Low startup costs

Do business where need low capital to start, such as service where you can do the work yourself and brings in money from day 1. Products businesses often cost more as have to pay for stock being there until bought.

Even in high tech age people providing service level well, for agreed price, on time with a smile draws gasps of delight and relief.

So something that can start small, but grow to be big.

3, Be unoriginal

New ideas:
▪need development, in concrete detail from concept to delivery
▪extensive testing
▪somebody else probably already doing it
▪need to re-educate buyers to get them to buy it, huge time and effort getting them to think like you do

Best to copy ideas already out there which are proven to work. Do them better, more cheaply or with a twist.

People though often want the glory of having come out with the next big thing. Do you want to be remembered, or rich?

3, Be early

Go into new growing industries for meteoric growth, like how computer chips, railroads, ecommerce once were.

Also as will be loads of people wanting to understand the new market, they will want you who then understands it.

When IT was booming he did tax returns for IT people.

4, Believe in your business.

Need to be something you believe in, so your emotions jump on board. Not something you think will be done for fraud etc.

A service needs a backstory, people don’t buy stuff, primarily they buy feelings. Needs to be the people recognise the business’s genius.

It can mean whatever you would like it to mean. For example
●his accountancy firm does the books, so IT people can get on with being brilliant, amazing, courageous and wonderful at what they do. Building, creating and running the computer systems that run Western civilisation.
●Home care for the elderly is about connection, relief from being isolated and giving them dignity. Is not just about making beds and clipping toenails.

It has to feel true.

Has to have meaning.

Have to believe in it.

Needs to be a solution to a problem.

If you are excited, energised and convinced by the meaning of your business, staff and customers will be too.

Starting a business

A startup business need to get and please customers.

Get and keep customers.

Focus on the customer experience better than anyone else.

Is not about pretty office, computers, staff, business cards etc. that people want to show off and enjoy. These are costs that do not make money. So can start a business from home.

Business is a harsh and unforgiving light that shows up people’s negative character traits. Customers just go elsewhere, they loose money, fail etc.

People may want a business partner to be social, but not mean they are the best for making money with. One normally does more than another, so resentment soon forms. Better to own it all and employ the person, or give things to friends, but not give ownership shares in the business.

To get referrals
▪Do what say going to do
▪For the quoted price
▪when say going to do it
▪remember enough personal stuff about customers to have a chat with them

Hire people to do specific jobs, so can tell if doing it properly. For example this person does administration.

Do not hire friends, is hard to tell them what to do, deal with it when they disagree. Friends are about mutual empathy, company and social, being there when you are in crucial need is only 5% of friendship.

Divide yourself up

As business grows, hone what you do down constantly to the most profitable stuff and delegate rest to others. Eg. Not worth taking someone on that costs more than the extra clients will bring in.

Eg. Could be that you go out selling and they do the customer services and administration.
Then need to get to point where business is fine if you not there working. Stop working in the business and start working on it. This is the next stage according to Michael Gerber:
●How can get business to work without me?
●How get people to work without constant interference from me?

The organisation needs to be separate from you, lives and breathes on it’s own and relentlessly pursues single goal – to find and keep customers.

To do this make so business can be replicated 5000 times by individuals who follow the system. Operations manual for each function in the company, sales, marketing, warehouse operative etc.

Need to be clearly defined roles in the business, easy to understand standards by which success and failure can be judged and hire good people to fill them. Fire them right away if they don’t match the standards.

Most small businesses fail as owner not get past the point where if they do not do everything, nothing gets done, or nothing gets done correctly.

If not do this then
▪will get exhausted
▪becomes an ordeal
▪business cannot go further
▪get frustrated and angry at customers

Learn from clients and incorporate these things into your business.

He did a franchise system where regional directors (Scotland, Newcastle, Birmingham and London) ran their operations and kept percentage of the profits.

Hiring and firing

Do not hire friends
▪Friends feel own a piece of business as friendship is about sharing and is not about accountability.
▪Friends then employ their friends to be nice to their friends, who may not be best for the job. Then they also will not take responsibility for what their friend has done wrong.
▪ Friends are about mutual empathy, not so much accountability. So not mean they are best for the job.
▪Cannot tell a friend off and so on when they have done wrong.

Is a business, not a social club. Favour and hire who is best at the job.

Get people who are miserable, angry and bitter in the job, they bring the office down. Must never feel uncomfortable to chat with a person.

The owners must never be too timid to sack people who are not good and must fight back within the law. Bad people will bring down the morale in the business, do untold damage and erode your self belief. These bad people will bring the business down.

The regional directors are franchisees so have a lot of autonomy, they own their own franchises. He provides marketing and customer service support and they hand over a chunk of their profits. He does sack if not doing well enough though.

Must not burden people yourself with too many failsafe controls, just take the gamble on them being good.

The business owner will get ripped off from time to time and often quite seriously. Regional directors will steal money, clients etc. and the business owner will have to go and sort it out.

Many new companies go bankrupt as not collect the money owed, customers fob them off with well rehursed false promises of payment and the supplier not follow up on each promise. Need to call every 2 weeks to chase payment, might be a downer and uncomfortable to do, but even temporary cash shortage can kill a business. Make sure payment period terms agreed up front, do not let customers go past it.

Ask for payment in advance first, many will happily accept, if customer not want say is company policy. Can negotiate from there, such as half payment mid way through.

Credit for covering costs while waiting for payment is a big cost, can make a customer unprofitable.

Try snd get a person who can be stern on the phone, so people pay as not want to face their calls.

Marketing and advertising on search engines

When people are buying or working with something where they have not been involved with that field or specialism before. They spend lots of time in a week or weeks before, researching the about it. So his company writes loads and loads of articles, so when users are in the research stage they come across your site as it comes up on the search engines.

A bit like if someone is diagnosed with an illness, they research it on the internet, so know all about it before even meeting a doctor.

98% of people are at the stage of researching a product or service before at the 2% stage, of being close to being ready to buy. Talk to that 98%.

They have over 3,000 articles on their site, they have little knowledge of seo, just how to write lots of articles relevant to people who are researching.

It really has to answer the questions of how things work to answer their special detailed questions, for example the full details of how to get build a conservatory, get planning permission, etc.

Saying how great the company is and who they are, is not for this part of the website. Focus on helping answer the buyers’s question.

For IT contractors they have stuff for people thinking about becoming an IT contractor:
●double entry book keeping
●contracting compared to permanent employment
●everything have learned about the whole IT contracting businesss and how to do it

This comes from their expertise, what gleaned from customers and would-be customers.

A million people a year use their articles to make tricky life decisions, like whether to go independent or not.

Then when they want services, the company is the obvious starting point.

Make sure write good articles.

Great, interesting, easy to understand and relevant copy. Label pages and url keywords correctly and make sure matches the content. Must be honestly related to the user’s search, not just pretending to be.

Make sure first two lines of the articles, says what article is, as that is what will be in the search engine page listing. Eg. ‘Top tips for building a conservatory without planning in Cherryside’.

The articles must serve the customer by answering their questions; they are not for saying about the company.
Eg. Top tips for building a conservatory without planning permission in Cheershire.

At the end does mention your company and how it maybe relevant to the user. It is there to attract, inform and sell.

Need to think like the customers, really understand their stresses and pains and write interesting, helpful, effective and friendly articles to help them.

Helps create spark of gratitude and empowerment for the in the visitor. They have worthwhile 2.5 minutes when read each one.

Quality, relevant text.

For them their articles come up while people are thinking about whether to become a contractor or not. If you are talking to them, they will not be able to get away from you with their search engine searches.

Need to love and understand your customers, genuinely try and help them. If you do this the search engines will love you forever, as a web page lasts forever.

Think about new questions customers will be asking. They even called a nuclear power station, got information and facts from them and wrote an article about being an engineering or IT contractor in the nuclear power industry. They then got a top Google result for the search term ‘becoming a nuclear contractor’

Article must echo the page title and url words, or Google thinks something dodgy could be going on.

Best to write great copy to naturally get links, can pay peoole to get links but they will jot last. Google also sniffs out fake links.

Make a list of questions of what they will want to read, useful answers to their questions. Do first very basic, then intermediate and then advanced questions.

Some questions users will only realise are good once seen them. The questions do not have to be about you or your expertise, if you get your hands on useful and honest answers, use them.

Eg for a home care company, can be all things relevant to old people, eg. medical advice, care, equipment, how to convert your home etc.

Each article 200-400 pages, each with own web page.

The headings of each article must really sell the article and show clear value to the information hungry visitor, so they really want to read it. Eg top tips for, essential guide to, secrets of, how to, six ways to etc.

Write plain, naked and exposed writing to connect with people. Do not pretend to be something you are not.

Write like you talk to a friend, just answer the question, write for your customers and no one else. Organise your answer into a short list of points, use short sentences, get them checked by another person, be helpful and write like your audience would speak.

It is a lot of work to explain complicated things in a simple manner.

Use the keywords in the articles, that get you customers on Google Adwords.

Talk about what customers want to talk about, not what you want to talk about!

People spend loads on advertising only when they do not know who their customers are.

Adverts only speak to those tiny 2% ready to buy, they miss the 98% who are at the research stage.

You must write the articles as you know your customers. The best things in life and business are free, but require effort.

Find out what customers are asking and give them answers in simple effective prose.

Entrepreneurial masterclass

Academic people do not take simple and unsophisticated things seriously, but they are the answers.

If you are sitting in the office a all the time as think will not work without you, then have not divided yourself up, or just are trying to find things to do, but this is not making you money.
Go out of the office, have time away and find new money making ideas, like the one that caused your business. Talk to interesting people, read, find experts.

Need to keep an eye on your business, but if it takes all your time, then need to work on your business, not in it.

Make sure research is not just to find reasons why it is bad idea, once can tell is good, go for it.

If have to choose, choose efforts to increase sales, over decreasing overheads. Sales have no upward limit if chosen correct business, costs cannot go below zero. However people find it easier to cut cost than sell.

Luck happens when you have a good business to make the most of any good luck. Customers recommend and get you more customers. Bigger, gets you even bigger.

Failing is the best way to learn, landing on your ass is the best way to learn and eventually leads to confidence, clarity and commitment.
However must fail correctly so not use up the different forms of capital
▪Social: Have been honest with people, so they did it with eyes open will work with you on other ventures.
▪Intellectual: can you use the failed business idea in other forms?
▪Spiritual: pick yourself up and do again. No blame, resentment and self justification.

So you have enough capital left forv the next venture.

Enthusiasm, good idea and solid relationships are more important than money to start up a business.

Bad gambler: wrecks that tumble out of casinos. Know the game but risks are not calculated. Big bets based on a couple of emotions, usually hope and mis placed sense of entitlement, basically that God owes them this time. They are driven by delusion and desperation.

Good gambler: people not notice are quietly successful, making a pretty good living. Know the game, know what can afford to loose and make calculated risks on big rewards. if loose just start at different table next week.

A successful entrepreneur works hard and builds something carefully, piece by piece that is theirs.

Getting a degree can stunt a person’s imagination, prospects for personal growth and autonomy.

Love, health, intelligence, art etc. are more important than money. Money does not buy happines.
Money does buy space, time, beautiful settings, pleasant experiences and the best legal and medical assistance available.

How to be a good parents of a would be entrepreneurs

Parents set the patterns for their children’s behaviour, they repeat it later.

People may not allow themselves to be rich, because of what other negative people say about those who have money. This can create deep feelings and attitudes in a person and can cause a them to loose wealth if they come into it.

So need to promote the message that wealthy people are good for society and not be ambivalent to money.

Staff who are pampered babies are no good. A business needs hungry grafters.

Messing around phase of doing lots of jobs only works if it is self directed. The person may put energy into misguided messes, but do not tell them because
at least they are learning. They learn more in this 6 months than from 10 years listening to you.

Jumping through hoops to get exam grades is a treadmill that does not lead to a rich, exciting and independent life. A person has to intend to be that, to get it.

An entrepreneur wants to be independent.

Need to grow up so can get the rare skills and handle the pressure.

People who want the feeling of safety will want employment and not to be an entrepreneur.

Lazyness may mean are scarred to fail, tried something once and it did not work, not sure where to start or what to do next.

Most adults who have rare talents and powerful spirits, were awkward, headaches, worries and disappointments to their parents when they were teenagers. They had a tough job as teenagers, working out their place in the world and how they fit in, which was not obvious at all. This drive for independence is important and needs to be encouraged.

If a teenager has a few of these, it is a good sign:

1, a realistic perception of money and not be trained to expect clothes, toys, moneu and treats by whining.

2, To know and take an interest in what is going on around them.

3, persevere if I hit a brick wall and not give up.

4, Try new things and learn from them

5, Mix okay with people

6, Have some constructive interests of some kind, school, music, job, sports, hobby etc.

It s about
●being your own boss
●setting up a business and making lots of money
●being free and independent adult

Saying Que Sera kills achievement.

Studying business is seperate to learning economics.

Even when see for example McDonald’s, see the angle of how it is a business that someone thought up and made lots of money from.

Business owners and managers are always desperate for willing grafters.


Co operation always wins over co operation, because of the evils of putting others down, that can come from competition.

However competition is better than doing nothing.

It can be right that the person who is best should be doing it and that is the positive side of competition.   The best thing is if people do the best they can for others, but only one person can be the leader or do certain jobs, so naturally the person who is best has to be chosen for the sake of the people receiving the benefit of that service.

However the aim is to do the right thing for others and not just to try and acquire. This is the correct choosing of a person when done ethically.

A person’s selfish motive to compete can be:

  • To be the person that gets the customer and so makes money.
  • To show to yourself and others that are the best and these competitions can be a way that businesses motivate their staff.   The status of being the best.    This can infatuate people though to work excessively hard.  It can also make people go too far in order to be the top dog, such as dong something too risky or immoral.