During an all-hands meeting at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, CEO Jeff Bezos was recently asked about the technology giant’s future in light of recent retail industry bankruptcies. “Amazon is not too big to fail,” Bezos reportedly replied. “In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt.”
“If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end,” he added. “We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.”
Considering the potential downsides—and even the outright failure—of a business is one of the most prudent steps a leader can take. Few do so, however, which is what makes Bezos’s frank forecast so startling and unusual.