Jeff Bezos and his company, Amazon, have become synonymous with online shopping.  Even if you have never gone onto Amazon to shop (and hit that magical US$125 to enjoy free shipping), chances are you would know people who have.  Amazon appeared at the most opportune of times to attain an iron grip on a new age of shoppers, and is in the process, making its founder a very wealthy man.

According to Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos has now overtaken Zara founder Amancio Ortega and philanthropist and business magnet Warren Buffett as the second richest person in the world.  Ex-CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates is of course still sitting at the top of the ranks.  And as with any successful entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos has his fair share of advice that he shares during interviews or at conferences. Here are some which may prove useful to any aspiring entrepreneur.

In a session with students at his Bezos Center of Innovation, he told them: “Without a willingness to fail, you cannot innovate because most innovations won’t work.”  Being someone who is often described as a great innovator, Jeff Bezos didn’t get Amazon to where it is today by doing the same things.  After enjoying much success with its e-book reader, the Kindle, Amazon made the decision to dabble with smartphones next. This turned out to be not so smart a move, and their smartphones ended up joining Amazon’s expanding list of spectacular failures.  Even then, Bezos remains undeterred and continues to pour in billions of dollars into projects that can potentially turn out to be failures, and this has helped immensely with Amazon’s creation of products and services that actually work.

Where most people would simply be comfortable using whatever is around them, Jeff Bezos thinks that that’s exactly where you should start for your next big idea.  Much like how Elon Musk and his team took apart a Mercedes Benz car before creating Tesla, Jeff Bezos shares the same sentiments.  But this isn’t just about taking things apart to know how they are built and what goes into the product, it is also  about recognising business opportunities in areas that current products and services fail to fulfil.  With the internet, Jeff Bezos saw an opportunity to take advantage of the 2300% growth of the world wide web by breaking down the very traditional business of goods delivery.  Out came Amazon, which soon become the world’s largest bookstore.  And the rest, as they say, was history.