As Warren Buffett once said: "You can hold a rock concert, and that's OK. You can hold a ballet, and that's OK. Just don't hold a rock concert and advertise it as a ballet."
Jeff Bezos, recently named n.1 living CEO, in this podcast talks with Adi Ignatius (Harvard Business Review) about the long term approach to business that he implements in Amazon. In this post I will share some of his comments. Nowadays it is indeed good to be reminded of the importance of taking a long term approach, rather then worrying about the stock price for the following day.
"If you're long term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned. In the short term, that's not always correct."
"I care very much about our share owners, and so I care very much about our long term share price. I do not follow the stock on a daily basis, and I don't think there's any the information in it. Benjamin Graham said, "In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine. In the long term, it's a weighing machine." And we try to build a company that wants to be weighed and not voted upon."
"When things get complicated, we simplify by saying what's best for the customer? And then we take it as an article of faith if we do that, it'll work out the long term. So we can never prove that. In fact, sometimes we've done a price elasticity studies, and the answer is always we should raise prices. And we don't do that because we believe-- and again, we have to take this as an article of faith-- we believe by keeping our prices very, very low, we earn trust with customers over time, and that that actually does maximize free cash flow over the long term."
The full transcript of the interview can be found here: http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2013/01/jeff-bezos-on-leading-for-the.html