Staying in Day 1 Mentality

Zayn Patel
8 min readMay 12, 2021

Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s best thinkers. He’s the richest man in the world and has transformed a once bookstore into a $314.9 billion company. How? — Jeff has Day 1 mentality + understands what it takes to be anti-complacent. In this article, I broke down the shareholder letter Jeff sent out a few years ago on the power of Day 1 mentality.

Jeff Bezos x Amazon.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” -Jeff Bezos

This is the most notable quote in the letter and it represents the importance of not getting complacent. Complacency trains us to be satisfied with the results, disregarding the path of growth, feedback, and improvement. In my experience, day 2 mentality leads down a path of anti-hustle and actually slows down our rate of completing tasks because we feel as if we don’t have anything to chase after.

Jeff’s starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision making.

Customer obsession — This is a sustainable strategy that compounds over time because customers are the sole thing that leads to success in a company. Great product, employees, office, etc don’t mean anything if you don’t have a customer. Companies in day 2 mentality think the customers will come to them whereas day 1 companies experiment, iterate, and double down when customers are enjoying the product. Day 1 companies succeed far more than day 2 companies because they don’t get fulfilled. I’ve always thought that fulfillment is the root cause of why people give up success. They think they’ve achieved everything, the let go of their macro dreams and life mission, and give into the good, short-term feeling they have. Day 1 people take things day by day, literally and don’t worry about the results of tomorrow. They obsess over everything big and small and ensure that it works.

  • Jeff stated that customers are always dissatisfied even when they report that business is great. Customers always want something more and it’s up to the company to deliver. The same mentality works for you, as the CEO of your own life. There is always something more that you want, the question is are you ready to chase after it and more importantly…

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Zayn Patel

Working on space technology and policy, improving government with data science, and launching a cubesat mission.