How the richest man in the world spends his mornings

So you can spend $10,000,000 a day for the next 40-years and still have change left over — how would you spend your mornings?

How about waking up early after 8-hours of sleep, doing some reading (newspapers included) and then having breakfast with you kids before your first meeting no earlier than 10 o’clock?

Well, that’s exactly what you would do if you were Amazon Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos.

‘I like to putter in the mornings, it’s important to me.’

You’d think being in control of a 500,000+ people company, mornings would be a little more hectic.

Alright. Alright. So what can we learn from the $147 Billion USD (at time of writing) man?

 

Sleep

‘I get 8-hours of sleep, I prioritise it.’

This one might seem surprising. Sleep deprivation has been worn as a badge of honour in the past.

We’ve all heard that person say they can function off less than ideal sleep.

They may be right too. Functioning, sure, but how well?

‘I need 8-hours of sleep, I think better, I have more energy, my mood is better.’

Sure, there will be times when ideal sleep isn’t a possibility, with things like timezone changes and deadlines. But for the majority of cases, best to take on your biggest challenges well rested.


Nutrition

‘I like to have breakfast with my kids before taking them to school.’

Bezos doesn’t mention what he eats of a morning but after Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, you can probably guess what kind of meal it is.

If you’re going to eat in the morning, especially if it’s with your kids, start the day off right with some quality food. And if you don’t know where to start, remind yourself of the company Amazon recently bought. You don’t have to shop there but eating whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts) is your best option.

 

What matters

If you’ve heard Bezos speak in the past, you’ve probably heard of his regret minimisation framework.

If not, its another of saying, choose your actions by imagining yourself 20-years in the future with no regrets about the past.

Back to the breakfast quote.

‘I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school.’

Can you imagine a 20-year future Bezos saying to himself, ‘I wish I spent more time responding to those emails instead having breakfast with my kids so often.’

I can’t.

Of course, I’m using an extreme example. But that’s where the most value is.

Create your own regret minimisation framework and stick to it. Your future self will thank you.


Future focused

‘None of the people who report to me should really be focused on the current quarter.’

Bezos continues on discussing how Wall Street loves the results of the current quarter, ‘those results actually came from the preparation done years ago.’

‘Right now, I’m working on a quarter that’s going to reveal itself in 2021 sometime.’

Amazon are focused on the future.

They’re in the business of putting themselves out of business. Why? Because if they don’t someone else will.

The best step you took this year isn’t your most important. It’s your next. Where do you want to be 2-3 years from now? Work towards that.

 

Decision-making

‘I like to do my high-IQ meetings before lunch,’ Bezos says, ‘anything that’s going to be really intellectually challenging, that’s a 10 o’clock meeting.’

If you wake up close to sunrise, your brain is most active a couple of hours after. And brain activity slowly tapers off towards the end of the day.

So it makes sense when Jeff says, ‘By 5 o’clock, I’m like, “I can’t think about that today.”’

If you have a list of things to do for the day. Do the hardest one first.

What would Bezos do? 

It’s clear much of Bezos’ effort is directed towards making better decisions.

‘If I make 3 good decisions a day, that’s enough.’

Of course, there will be times when more is inevitable, like when you’re in startup mode and your company of 4 employees is trying to grow.

But ideally, the shift should be towards less.

Less but better.

Bezos is setting an example we can all learn from. Looking after his health, spending time with family and attempting to build a brighter future.

So the next time someone tells you to sacrifice sleep or your health to work more, remember to ask yourself, ‘what would Bezos do?’

You won’t ever look this cool without working hard AND taking of your health.

You won’t ever look this cool without working hard AND taking of your health.

PS you can watch the video that inspired this article here

The Amazon takeover, Facebook's camera in your house and Sleep

There’s a lot going on in the world.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

My brother and I live together and we still struggle to stay up to date on what each other is up to.

Usually, we go for walks after work and talk about the world. Our conversations revolve around technology, business, technology in business, health and life.

Our skill sets complement each other. I’m a tech nerd who’s still learning about the business world and he’s a business dude who’s learning about the tech world.

We’re launching this podcast with no rules. Except for the fact we’ll try and keep the time under an hour or so. No promises.

Each episode will have 3ish topics. A mixture of what our normal conversations are about.

We may get some guests on the show at some point too. So if you know anyone we should talk to or want to come on the show, give us a holla.

This episode was about Amazon, Facebook and Sleep.

Two of the biggest companies in the world and one of the most important activities we all do.

Sleep is so important. Not one bodily function isn’t affected in some way by sleep. We could all operate a little better if we paid more attention to our sleep.

Amazon is so big. They have 560,000 employees. How does someone even manage all the thoughts going through their head? I don’t know how Jeff Bezos does it. One of the reasons I wanted to talk about Amazon was so I can absorb some of Jeff Bezos’s wisdom. I love his philosophy of every day being Day 1. This is how I try to live my life.

Facebook is even bigger than Amazon. Not by employee count or market cap. By users. By the amount of time people spend on their services. They own half of the top 10 apps on the App Store. It’s likely if you’re reading this you use a Facebook product daily.

That’s enough of an introduction, here’s a more formal account of what we talked about. I’ve included all the links to anything and everything I could remember.

If you want to get on the show or give us some advice, send an email to daniel@mrdbourke.com. If you send an audio file of your question, we’ll do our best to put it on the show.

One more thing, we need a show name. I was thinking Banter with the Bourke Boys? Bourke Brothers Banter? Or something simple like 3ish things? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Show Notes

Will’s shirt is from the MIT AGI course available FREE on YouTube - https://agi.mit.edu/

Amazon

Amazon 2016 shareholder letter - bit.ly/amazon2016letter

Amazon 2017 shareholder letter - bit.ly/amazon2017letter

Amazon Prime is at 100 million members globally (~$9B RR).

Third-party sellers sold more on Amazon than Amazon itself in 2017 (the first time this has happened).

Every day is Day 1 at Amazon.

Four principles of what makes a great business (from Amazon’s 2016 shareholder letter):

  1. True customer obsession: are you delighting your customers?
  2. Resist proxies: do we own the process or does the process own us?
  3. Embrace external trends: if you fight external trends, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace external trends and ride the tailwinds of society.
  4. High-velocity decision making: if you’re 90% sure of the decision you’re about to make, you’ve probably been waiting too long. 70% of information is enough. If someone doesn’t agree with you 100%, rather than trying to convince them and wasting time, disagree and commit.

Amazon Prime is in 2/3 US households.

Daniel shared the story of his experience with AWS. He ran up a large bill unexpectedly and contacted support to have the bill cancelled. A testament to Amazon’s true customer obsession.

AWS Sagemaker - an online platform to get machine learning models trained, running and deployed quickly. Even for non-developers.

AWS has $20B yearly revenue.

Google is trying to catch up to AWS in the cloud space - Daniel experienced this at the Google Cloud Event he attended. Both AWS and Google are offering world-class Machine Learning APIs and services but AWS still has a larger market share.

Rule of thumb: your net worth 10 x your recurring revenue (RR). E.g. if you have $100M RR, you have a $1B company. - Will

Amazon buying Whole Foods is a big plus. Making organic, quality foods more accessible is incredible. Amazon also now has 100+ different locations around the US it can use as midway points for its other services. By buying Whole Foods, Amazon saved itself 10-years trying to build the infrastructure themselves. - Will

Amazon has 560K employees by is also patenting and building technologies which automate a lot of other jobs. Eliminated jobs aren’t thought of as often as created jobs. For every 1 job Amazon creates, it may eliminate 3 middle management jobs. - Will

Amazon acquired Kiva robotics (now Amazon Robotics) in 2012 for $775M and cancelled all other existing contracts the company had. Now Amazon’s warehouses and fulfilment centres are full of robot workers.

Facebook

Facebooks 2018 F8 event - https://www.f8.com/

From the event:

Facebook wants to use their in-app camera, computer vision and your old photos to reconstruct your living room (virtually). Can you imagine ads targeted directly by what kind of fridge you’re using?

You can now clear your browsing data on Facebook. I’d love to clear my data on Facebook, that may actually get me to start using it again. I’ve got a lot of crap built up. - Daniel, This isn’t a new feature. - Will

Facebook is hiring 20,000 people to manually audit newsfeed items and ads to reduce fake news and political issues. Could this be a great way for them to keep governments and the strong grip of regulation off their heels? - Will

Facebook is also using AI to detect fake news and get them out of the feed. - Daniel

Group video chat is coming to Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. I saw this as a given, especially with Facebook’s massive push towards video lately. - Daniel

FAIR (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) replicated DeepMind’s AlphaGo and open sourced the code.

Who else wants to see OpenGo vs AlphaGo? Let’s make this happen!

FAIR also released an updated version of their open source reinforcement learning framework, ELF (Extensive, Lightweight, Flexible) along with OpenGo.

Open source is key. Imagine if you were a youngster building things and using Facebook’s open source technologies, where would you want to work when you’re older? - Daniel & Will

Sleep

Joe Rogan Podcast with Matthew Walker PhD on Sleep.

School test scores went up when the school time started later (from 7:30 am to 8:30 am). - Will

1 in 20 doctor interns who work sleep deprived will accidentally kill someone on the job, 1 in 5 will accidentally injure someone.

Challenge

1. Visit one of the resources we’ve linked above and send us your favourite takeaway.
2. What advice do you have? What worked? What didn’t work? What would you like to see more of?

Send anything you’d like to daniel@mrdbourke.com.

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