I have been reading a collection of Jeff Bezos’s shareholders’ letters in his book Invent and Wonder.
In these letters, Jeff Bezos signs off his letters with the sentence “It is only just day one.“
In each letter, he would outline a lot of happenings at Amazon and then end the letter with: “It is only just day one.“
I started wandering [as the book suggests] what this phrase “It is only just day one” is all about.
The Day One mentality means that even though Amazon is nearly 28 years old, the company treats every day like it is the first day of their new startup.
Day One is an incredible idea, it is a way to stay relevant and on your toes.
Every successful startup begins with a solution to some problem or need.
“The outside world can push you into Day 2 if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace them and you have a tailwind” –Jeff Bezos
In Bezos’ view, a company never can stop being a start-up.
He believes that company leaders always need to think as they did on the first day of their business.
“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”
Bezos suggests that strong trends are not that hard spot in today’s world.
Many big companies get caught up with what has worked for them in the past instead of embracing what the present and future call for.
That is what Day 1 is all about, attacking every day by searching for ways to become and stay relevant to your customers.
What Bezos is doing with the Day One philosophy is, he is guarding against comfort zone and contentment that success can bring.
He is creating a culture where past results do not guarantee future success so it is always important to strive, innovate, and be open to change.
This business advice is much like long-term relationships, whether it be marriages, commitments, friendships and the like.
In order to keep a relationship fresh and interesting, to meet the wants and needs of the other party, and to keep the relationship alive, it serves us well to think of every new encounter as a first date.
It is only just day one.