EPISODE 10: David Glick

David is a former Amazon Vice President and was once responsible for the buy box algorithm. 20 years at the company makes for an interesting chat, particularly how he almost became an alcoholic after leaving (I jest). 

In this episode we discuss:

  • What are the biggest opportunities in Q4 this year
  • The single point of failure that most brands currently have on Amazon, but they probably don’t know it
  • Why 3PL’s must be part of your strategy going forwards
  • The importance of a diversified carrier base 
  • The 1 skill sellers must have to achieve sustainable success – he took me by surprise with this one

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Click here for the RAW unedited transcript
[0:00:01] George Reid: Welcome to us Always Day One. My name is George Reid, a former Amazonian turned Amazon consultant. Each week in the podcast, you’re gonna hear industry expert Brando it on Amazon employees share their answers to the basic yet fundamental questions. You should be asking yourself a bag. Your Amazon business. Now, let’s jump in. Hello, David. On. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. First of foremost, what I want to do is get a quick 62nd review off yourself on how you became involved in the Amazon ecosystem. They were both kind of certainly. And at the moment,

[0:00:36] David Glick: Sure. Thanks, George. Appreciate you taking the time to have me on, um, 60 seconds. Uh, so I was unemployed out of Grand Regulate school in 1998. We moved up to Seattle, and we’re living in a friend’s basement. And another friend got my resume in the pile for a junior project manager role. So after about six months of unemployment, I was hired as a junior project manager in the infrastructure.

[0:01:02] George Reid: And since then, you two went on some pretty surreal things. Amazon going back to back for about 20 years and I thought you lot vice president of three different parts of the business that absolutely smashing it.

[0:01:15] David Glick: Yeah. Um, you know, I think I won the war of attrition. I know it’s a different thing starting in the infrastructure, Um, and after about five years and there, my boss told me, If you’re not in software, it’s kind of a dead end. And so I decided to join the software team, and, um, I did a bunch of different things. But if you think about Amazon’s focus on price selection and fast delivery might lead the creation of Amazon’s pricing engine in 2000 and six, Um, and then worked in the F B A team, uh, on global programs. Teoh help seller cell across different country yourself. If any of your sellers have ah European account of the unified European count that was won by Murdoch’s, that helps to have selection. And then I let the fulfillment team the film in Systems team from 2012 17 so that covered fast delivery. So I feel like I you got to do a lot of different things that make Amazon great.

[0:02:21] George Reid: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things I get asked a lot. I’m sure you do. I always ask friends of mine who have left as well. Kind of. What was that? Obviously here around about that 20 year. What made you finally go? But I would have done here like I’m ready to go on to my own thing or whatever. Or what was what was still kind of reasoning behind that?

[0:02:42] David Glick: Yeah. You know, I started to departures. That first was I was in operations on one big team and we ended up reorganized in such a way that my job got smaller. Um, and that gave me the opportunity to go do something I had wanted to do, which was lead a business and leave a startup. Inside Amazon, there was a program called Amazon Tickets, which was a Ticketmaster competitors er, which I ran for about six months before we ended up deciding to shut it down. And when we shut it down, that’s looking good. A good opportunity toe part ways. Uh, and, uh, so I basically retired a couple years ago, and the people some earns in Seattle,

[0:03:28] George Reid: it’s he retired, and then obviously you’ve now got on to start start flax. It was that out of guest boredom or interest? Passion. What was the reason why you started Flex?

[0:03:40] David Glick: Yeah, it was, um I took off in April of 2018 and I spent the summer sitting outside in the sun drinking wine with your friends. When you’re sitting outside with friends drinking, why, it’s great. But once the rain comes and your friends go back to work were sitting inside alone drinking wine, then you’re an alcoholic. So I decided that I need to go do something. And I had done some consulting. And, uh, you know, I was working about four hours a day. You’re talking to people linked in or, you know, other things. And I total revenue of $17,000. So I figured if I

[0:04:19] George Reid: was

[0:04:19] David Glick: working, I may as well make money. Um, yeah. Uh, actually didn’t start Flex. One of the veces in town was investing in it, and he called me and said, These guys have a great product market fit, have a huge market. They need help of execution. Um, which is my expertise. And so I met the CEO, and 10 days later, we signed off her letter.

[0:04:42] George Reid: Done and that Zari trusted. I didn’t realize that drinking on your own was classified. An alcoholic doing is locked down. I’ve got it. Terrific, Lee. Wrong. I thought I was fine and normal. But you’re now telling me I’m not Dave. I’m not. I’m not too sure about it. And I guess with what’s interesting about flexes, I imagine at the moment with Q four on what’s going on in the Amazon world, you guys have probably one very, very busy and to facing lots of interesting challenges and changing the way you’re working. So that that being said, what do you think some of the biggest opportunities are for brands in Q four this year? And how can they be going about capitalizing on them?

[0:05:26] David Glick: Sure. And, um, already knows he commerce is going crazy. And, you know, this is the first time in 22 years I’ve been involved with Amazon that they’ve been They’ve run out of space. Yeah, they, uh no, we’ve been when I was there, were building buildings like crazy. No, you know, going back all the way to my first summer there. In 1999 we built five buildings, which was three million square feet. Um, and we thought that was crazy. And now we build, like, five buildings of on relabeled. And so anyway, they’re putting limits on what seller can send in and so reflects. What we’re looking at is how can we help sellers in two different ways? One is, if you want to do like a cellar full, full prime or if you want to have a two day promise with F B M, you need to have 3 to 5 nodes across the country in the US now that super expensive. If you go to traditional free theologies, they’re going to like you to pay them up Warehouse Management System licensee and the FBI immigration fee from capital up front and sign a long term contract with flax. We have no none of those fees and no long term contract, so we can stand you up in 3 to 5 buildings when bureau capital and you pay as you go. We think of ourselves as like the eight of us of warehousing. You only pay for what you use. That’s a great program on, and that’s more for bigger sellers. Um, we work with enterprise customers like Walmart, Procter and Gamble. We worked with digital natives like Casper and away luggage. Uh, we also are starting to work with bigger sellers as well. Uh, and so that’s a program where you can stand up a five network pretty quickly. Um, the second thing we do eyes work to stage at the palate or container level stage stage inventory near Amazon’s inbound prospects. And so, if you think about Amazon saying, well, we only want one day or three days of cover in the building if you can store the rest of your inventory close to across that and then you have a 10 mile truck truck ride to replenish, uh, you can you can keep in stock while having low days of cover in their buildings,

[0:07:53] George Reid: I guess. Bring it. Bring that background to the question then, because you right. But I think having the operational base and having the ability to quickly send in Madrid in to Amazon so you’re never going to be going out of stock is a fundamental wheeled understand about how toe make the algorithm work for you. But that being said, I’m sure there’s a very simple transition for you here coming back to the question of the biggest opportunity for brands in Q four. Where would you position of the logistics elements is huge. They need to get it right. But what is that big opportunity for them?

[0:08:29] David Glick: Yeah, sorry, I apologize. I started

[0:08:32] George Reid: with this fine,

[0:08:36] David Glick: and I didn’t mean to make it a flex advertisement, but again, having having products that Amazon doesn’t sell themselves. And I know that’s kind of controversial. We used to think of it. It’s overlapping products versus non overlapping the mining products that no one else sells. Um, making sure that you have them close to the close to Amazon’s warehouses so that you can stay in stop and make sure your price, right? Um, you know, it’s basically selection bracing and fast delivery again. I wish I had some secret sauce that I could say. No order. Final paper. I

[0:09:14] George Reid: agree with you entirely. I don’t think there is a secret source per se, but we work. We work in a quite a simple premise. Are mountains stretched the way you could have got the operational base? The brand sits on top of that, and then the final component is your advertising and I think it’s becoming ever more important that the operational base, with the challenges people are seeing right now in terms of inventory limits and Amazon bursting at the seams you need to or the brands I should say that are well equipped and have a strong base. Andi have alternate options from a logistics point of view. They’re the ones were bleeding it over to capitalized most, um, and create that sustainable success. In my opinion,

[0:09:59] David Glick: yeah, you know, we’ve seen over 20 years, and Amazon people go back and forth between Amazon’s a tech company or Amazon’s a marketing company, uh, Amazon Logistics Company. You know that in my perspective, having worked in logistics for so many years there, But, um, you know, it is really set them aside the investment they made in the fulfillment centers in the network and so on. And so no extrapolating, that is, if you are brand and you don’t want to be completely dependent on Amazon, you need to have a logistic strategy because the expectation is two day shipping or even one day shipping.

[0:10:38] George Reid: And I guess what options were out there for brands at the moment? Because with the prime eligibility that’s becoming a must always has been a must lease of the last five years. So we can advise people you know always have f b M offer as a backup. And now it’s not just becoming a backup. It’s becoming the literal, your only option in some cases, um, so whether whether you kind of see that logistics arm, Obama’s in going with things like Cell. If Phil Prime because you’re still chasing the prime batch, what do you think Amazon’s next play on? That is to increased profitability?

[0:11:15] David Glick: Yeah, you know, it’s very interesting because they’re they’re of to sort of paradoxical feeling one in there they’re trying to push, pushed for performing inventory out of the buildings. Uh, languages is saying we can’t take everything in the FDA, but they’re not investing big and some of the old prima’s far as I can tell. In fact, they’re the rumor is, and I haven’t confirmed it that they’re not accepting you folks into seller fulfilled prime and

[0:11:45] George Reid: interest is that just in the US or

[0:11:48] David Glick: that was my understanding in the US.

[0:11:51] George Reid: That’s very interesting. I know a friend of mind in the UK, so I worked in the S F B team in the UK that at the time it could have got dragged out when we transition to dams and business team as our role. But they’re still now, I think, working quite hard and bringing people on. But then the UK ethic is much more of an achievable, um, achievable solution with with sf pay and got powers into the US, right?

[0:12:19] David Glick: Yeah. I mean, to do a great job in the US of, you know, the the idea behind seller fulfilled prime is if you can do if you can have a justice good customer experience, as you do with FDA, then you could be in Sellafield crime. But the fact is, no one can really do that unless you’re chipping for men was on the warehouse or using Amazon transportation services. You don’t You can’t deliver on Sunday. You can’t. Two things from two different merchants in the same box. And you’re fundamentally, uh, uh, differentiators from Amazon.

[0:12:54] George Reid: I guess that’s where it comes down to Amberson being logistics company, I guess. Where do you see whether you see Amazon going with that now? Because I think that is personally I see them kind of like smashing everyone else out the water in the next 5 10 years on being more dominant than they already are in terms of their logistics prowess. What? What are your thoughts on that?

[0:13:17] David Glick: Um, you know, Amazon built, uh, built the logistics solution they have am zl of because that because the legacy carriers of the existing carriers couldn’t scale of the same rate that they could. And so if you think about the carrier network first it was Royal Mail. Um, and then, you know, ups. No one after another had failures and their famous failure in 2013 where UPS put left 300,000 packages on the tarmac. And so there was no Amazon saying, Oh, we want to be dominant in logistics. They were saying, We are going to continue to grow and he commerce is gonna grow a 20% a year and that carriers air growing it 36% per year. So it’s only going to get worse.

[0:14:05] George Reid: Yeah, that’s a very good point. Sexually,

[0:14:08] David Glick: And so this was as much a defensive move customer focused, moved as anything else on. So they found a bunch of capital on start ation centers, delivery centers, delivery stations and and setting up routes in all the major essays in the U. S. As well as obviously you know, in London, um, am zl delivers almost all the packages there and so that, you know, once you have built spent that capital and you you are a transportation company whether you want it to be or not, Um, it makes sense toe ADM or packages because the economics of transportation are all about density. And so I think in the UK, this is their growing that business of ship with Amazon, um, taking merchants packages as well as Amazon one p practice.

[0:15:05] George Reid: I think them their obsession with the customers really driving that. Like you said, they’re like Amazon. I don’t recall ever leaving 300,000 parcels on the tarmac. Andi all comes down to what we want to be able to deliver on Sundays. We want to be able to create this experience. Both traditional businesses haven’t been quite obsessed with that. As a result, they’ve gone well. Sunday deliveries don’t really suit us very well. They obviously haven’t got the cash behind them to take a hit on some of the costs and a big area we’ve seen. Obviously, me being over in Australia at the moment is people like Australia. Australia posed just how fucking useless they were to begin with when Amazon arrived. I remember trying to buy some Adidas Roby boots, and it was like, Here’s your seven day delivery and I was like Disgusted was just honestly trying to find somewhere for, like, a two day delivery. And in the UK you become accustomed to next day. So I think. But they certainly changed Australia Post and a lot of the networks here have operated for Australia. Post edit, even have tracking numbers. A couple of years ago, it was just absolutely shit show. So I think it’s great how they’re leading it. I think it’s gonna be very interesting now that investment continues to pour into new technology and then the back end infrastructure to create what is probably gonna be the best experience from a shipping point of view in the world. And I imagine the audience, to be honest, I couldn’t think of any comparisons. I don’t know about you.

[0:16:41] David Glick: Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s really something amazing to look at. And you, if you go back that very long six or seven years they weren’t delivering in any packages. I just read, uh, in that some some blob that they’re now delivering 2/3 of their own packages. You know most I think 2019 it was 50%. And so if you think about all of the, you know, the increase in capacity that has come about because of Kobe, like Amazon is not getting more ups capacity. They’re not getting more FedEx capacity. In fact, they cut ties with FedEx of rice versa. It’s all of this, you know, 20% 30% excess capacity they need is coming from their own shops.

[0:17:26] George Reid: Which is which is pretty phenomenal on, I guess, how pivoting slightly right now, coming back to what brands can be doing. I think one of the big things I look to achieve in the podcast is thinking about. We won’t be with believers of actual insights. It’s obviously you said at the start you were working with some very large merchants voting enterprise size clients on during the period were going through. At the moment, everyone’s getting slammed with challenges left right and center. So that being said, what challenges do you see most commonly experienced by these kind of enterprise level clients on the marketplace on what are they doing then to overcome them?

[0:18:10] David Glick: What we’re seeing is, you know, a that people are running out of fulfillment capacity. Those folks who are doing e commerce well, and the business is going to run out of fulfillment capacity. They come to us to help solve that. Uh, they don’t want to sign a five year lease or five year contract so we can give them a month to month, uh, elastic capacity. But more than that, I think the carrier capacity is going to be limited. And that’s a much harder problem. We’ve had big sellers, big merchants, people whose name you Freddo on, and the interior won’t come pick up their stuff picking up every other day. And so they’re having a man. Is that carrier. Um and so, you know, one thing that that sellers could do is you know, if they’re not going to be completely dependent on FDA, they need toe have carrier contracts which guarantee them capacity over a key for peak, and that might mean, you have a contract with UPS and another contract with fed acts and some with on track and laser ship and so on. But diversify your carrier based because all signs point that everybody viewing overcapacity this before.

[0:19:22] George Reid: And would you? I know I read in the post of yours here. That there. But Amazon particular. And you were there. I’m sure they still do it now. They plan for that queue for throughout the whole year. Would you be taking a similar sort of mindset within a nen surprise level client like you say and go right in January? We’re thinking about what contracts are we putting in place with our carriers? Which of the three or four carriers we should be using Is that something you’re building up towards in the end, slowly throughout

[0:19:52] David Glick: what we today we’re only most Yeah, I was a 99% were only in the four walls of the warehouse. And so everybody brings their own contract. We do have our own UPS contract, which we’ve negotiated, And so for smaller sellers, they ship with us. Um, you know, But we look out at the beginning of the year and say you know, what do we think our revenue is? What do you think of the chipping days are and start securing that capacity with our warehouse providers. Uh, assume it’s possible and so that we know that they can get the labour into the building, that they have the square footage that they need, that they have it perfectly racked. And many of them will work with us. Tow, uh, do the last mile delivery as well.

[0:20:39] George Reid: Yeah. No, that makes sense. I guess that that that being said, I think at the moment, obviously, with q four, it’s gonna be very interesting where people aren’t getting products picked up on that sits in the threat. But what do you think? The biggest threat right now, when Amazon businesses?

[0:20:58] David Glick: Um uh huh. Well, if you are. But obviously there’s lots of talk about it. I won’t go into this deeply like Amazon copying your productor, knocking it off for whatever souls set them aside. Uh, your FDA, uh, being able to get your product into the warehouse is is going to be formidable, right? It’s gonna be hard. And I’ve heard stories from others about, you know, vendors and merchants being said, you can only send 200 units in this week. Then the next week it’s 11,000 and then you’re back to two under units. And so, uh, if you’re completely dependent on FB A and they limit how many products you can send in, your sales could go to zero very quickly. And so having a backup plan of F B M know whether you do that reflects or otherwise seems like a no a no brainer to set something up

[0:21:54] George Reid: and then just a threat a little bit mawr on that from a wider perspective. We, if we look outside of the four walls, are the elementary management issues right now on what Amazon are accepting. If you have to think a bit bigger picture, where would you say the bigger threat is? Obviously, you touched upon it slightly there about Amazon on the data they have on perhaps ripping off products, whether they are or not. But what do you think the biggest threats is? Because, sure, we expected to settle down with the the the inventory you’re allowed to send in. I expect there’s going to settle down and we’ll chill out a little bit about that. But following that, What do you think the Bigfoot is?

[0:22:38] David Glick: Um uh, you know, I’m a logistics guy by background, and currently, and for the last 10 years. And so, you know, I think it is a big threat. And we saw it during you know, the Merchant April. If you if you are dependent on FDA and you can’t get stuff into the warehouse, you revenue zero. Uh huh. I can’t think of any bigger threats than that. I guess that’s

[0:23:05] George Reid: interesting. I asked pretty much most people the same question. It really called Sit from your perspective, being like, Well, if you haven’t got the logistics, you haven’t really good business, which comes back down to that mountain Strachan mentioned earlier on. I know where the people have saved kind of the threat of Amazon themselves, and I guess that kind of is linked to the threat of Amazon. A lot of answers could have all tied into Amazon themselves, and that could be in any capacity beyond up absolutely right. So I guess one of the things where your skills a particularly useful, is how do you counter act that threat? But if you’re advising a business right now on. They’re looking to hire just one individual to help that Amazon brand. What would their skill set be? Would you go logistics? So what? You go elsewhere.

[0:23:58] David Glick: I mean, you know, I go logistics, because that’s that’s important to me. But I know I think there is also this whole, uh, add optimization spends, which is gone bonkers. The last few years since I have left, you know, every time was relatively small in 2017 that is making when I love, uh Now it’s it. No, you can’t. You can’t live on Amazon without it. So I know there’s a bunch of agencies in Seattle in particular. You can’t swing a cat without running into the next lane with John Mark marketing person who got that at optimization spend. Um, so I think that’s super important. I’ll tell a story, Uh, and this isn’t selling on Amazon, but, you know, a friend of mine just want to be CEO at a company that’s pre I P. O. And do they have one warehouse that they’re shipping from and all their stores were closed and you know, she’s saying, you know, if you know if we have one Cobain case in this warehouse, we have zero revenue for two days, right? You have to shut it down and clean it up, and they’re not shipping anything. And the revenue was recognised when the product goes out the door. And, uh so I would be, you know, I would want to have a backup plan.

[0:25:12] George Reid: And I think perhaps people weren’t necessarily fully aware of that in the past until it’s now being brought to light that we we call it a single point of failure on even from personal experience. Like just looking at something like traffic and what you get your traffic from readers advised someone not rely heavily Justin Amazon appetizing on getting traffic from nowhere else. Because if that goes tits up, obviously your whole business could be impacted. So it’s very interesting use case. They’re off. They’ve got a single point of failure. You’re upset. You’re right. And obviously Kobe isn’t gonna be a normal situation or experiencing, but I think there’s certainly learnings from that eso What would you be advising them to do in a post covert world? Would you be looking to implement something differently?

[0:26:07] David Glick: Um Yeah, in post covert world. A week over the world. Um, you know, I think you need to have an f B M fallback plan. Uh, no. If you are completely dependent on FB A, you are at the whim of Amazon on. And maybe that the plan is you’re gonna sell on Walmart as well on eBay as well. Kroger just launched a marketplace and targets. Got a little marketplace. I assume those are all your family? Small, Much smaller than Amazon marketplace. Um, but, you know, those air options not go to zero revenue if you’ve got problems with FDA.

[0:26:47] George Reid: So you’re thinking divers find your platforms as well and are obviously youth lies in their fulfillment solutions. Even though it could be zero sales at least. You know, you’ve got inventory moving through. You’ve got sales coming in, cash flows better.

[0:27:02] David Glick: Yeah, I would never want to have a single point of failure either for the front end, right? You know, Amazon some incentives, a single point of failure because e I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this or any of your customers have, but, um, certainly I’ve heard stories about people accidentally given kicked off right algorithm kicked him off the platform and take some three days to find the right person to activate them back on the platform.

[0:27:27] George Reid: Yeah. Yeah,

[0:27:28] David Glick: that’s a single point of failure. And then, uh, you know, obviously Amazon has 180 warehouses in the US and, you know, many hundreds of thousands around the world, and so they protect themselves from a single warehouse going down. But if they decide they’re gonna lock you out, you need to protect yourself from that. Eventually will be as well.

[0:27:52] George Reid: Yeah, yeah, absolutely right. And I think that we would always be advising people to kind of not rely solely on Amazon for your for your sales. Look to build that brand off of the platform, look to control traffic off of the platform. Are building assets like a strong facebook. Appetizing. Set up a strong email list. All of these assets where you know, Facebook can still give you a slap. Increase your costs significantly, and that could be a bit of a failure for you. But then you can kind of go lean on your Amazon and vice versa. You could then lead on your email list. Eso whatever the case that I think the big lesson to be point looking at here is what’s your risk right now about how many points of failure do you have before everything comes tumbling down? I think particularly for the smaller brands. I imagine it’s probably one a lot of the time. Um, but those larger brands, like you said you’ve worked with. I imagine there kind of got many options. Although Amazon perhaps is their dominant. What, right?

[0:28:57] David Glick: Yeah. I mean, more options is better. But, you know, as you say, Amazon makes it very easy to build a brand only on Amazon. You know that. You know, Tim Ferriss wrote this book over that 10 years 20 years ago that for our work week and hope, but that great,

[0:29:17] George Reid: great great books, your great book.

[0:29:19] David Glick: Yeah, this was before FDA was a thing, and he talks about, you know, I call the manufacturer in China. You know, he says, I put a yoga mat, an advertisement for a yoga mat in the yoga magazine. Then I called the, um manufacturer in China, and I have them ship it directly to a distribution house on and, you know, all these things, which used to be I have to go find a separate distribution house, a separate advertising, and separate this and that. Now you can do it all on Amazon, which makes it very easy and great to start a small business. But it’s a point you have to diversify.

[0:29:58] George Reid: Do you? Have you seen quite a few use cases off this? Where small to medium size brands. Habit diversified enough that has come tumbling down. Is that something you’ve experienced a lot, even just from the sadistic side.

[0:30:11] David Glick: I haven’t seen it personally. I when I was retired, unemployed, whatever you wanna call that? I

[0:30:19] George Reid: was an alcoholic off it was his wife.

[0:30:22] David Glick: That was Yeah. I, uh, talking Teoh v c. And they they met with me and they said, Look what we really wanted someone to start an alternate FDA. And the story they told was that one of their friends got kicked off of FB A because, you know, the algorithm said, um, you know, we’re kicking you off the platform and, you know, it took three days to get back on the platform. And during that time, they had zero revenue and, like 85% of their sales came through Amazon. And so these guys went back and said we’re going to make a strategic initiative in the next year to reduce that 85% to 65%. Um, Anyway, this guy I was talking to said, Hey, we want you to go build a competitive FDA. I started a company. I’m like, Well, that sounds hard. I

[0:31:14] George Reid: very difficult.

[0:31:16] David Glick: I’ve seen how complex FDA is. Um, but like it turned out, the place I ended up with this flex is in some ways, a competitor. FDA, because we are giving you the opportunity to start a multi node fulfillment network would no up front costs, which is the sort of the value proposition of FDA

[0:31:35] George Reid: was that part of the mind set when you were building out? Not necessarily values because the value would be customer obsession. I guess they’re like no one wants this monstrous upfront costs on. I’ve always been fascinated by the AWS model as well, So I really like your analogy. Kind of the idea breast for logistics was that when you were mapping out your your plan for Flex was stabbed in the back of your mind, These kind of Amazon leadership principles Or,

[0:32:04] David Glick: uh, well, interestingly, we have a We redid our values. A flex. Certainly after I joined, um, I jokingly sent to my boss, Carl. Here’s here’s a good set of values and I sent him the first thing that was on leadership principles. Um, we ended up going with a different set that the company, it was kind of bottoms up, working with the company. You know what? We wanted some of our values and starts with put customers first, uh, another one’s called Jump in like people who run towards the fire. But But we often, you know, I’ve hired about your exam. Was that folks? And so we have often revert to Amazon speak, and we talked about disagree and commit. And,

[0:32:50] George Reid: you know,

[0:32:50] David Glick: I’ve been bias for action. And so if you look around startups in the Seattle ecosystem, you will find the leadership principles that they’ve got on their walls are very similar and highly improper. Find Amazon.

[0:33:07] George Reid: It’s interesting, like, and I think it’s something I never massively I was probably too young and immature to buy into something like that at the time and wanted to rebel. I just didn’t like these kind of like corny phrases. But now, since leaving, I actually find myself, but they’re still there. But I just don’t really realize that I was only there for two years. But I still ingrained a little bit, and it certainly does change your mindset. I think part of it is that the girlfriend works on the vendor side of the business still, so I’m obviously listening to her regularly, and she’s still heavily talking in that sort of mindset that I think no matter what business you are, you are in, You could be a brand, which most of the people who listen our hike and envisage on looking at them prince bills and learning a lot from them on like that could be applying customer obsession. When you’re spending the extra time on the phone to someone to talking through something or you’re sending out their replacement, even though they’re not given you pictures of anything being broken yet, whatever the case may be is because in turn it’s going You’re paying yourself forward a little bit, I believe.

[0:34:17] David Glick: Yeah, I think the Amazon platform really forces you to be customer obsessed because they don’t give you, uh, you know, it’s all about the reviews, right? If you can. If you reviews or bad, you’re never gonna win the by box and, you know, we’re gonna get sales. And so they motivate. You know, in the pre Amazon world, you could order something for mail order, and I feel there’s no good they didn’t have to take it back. All these things by building this ecosystem which puts customers first, um, they really motivate sellers toe, you know, manage their, um man, is there seller views? Ah, daily basis we have. I have a friend who rents using Airbnb, and she uses Airbnb property manager Um and you know he is. Whole business runs on every being. So he’s like, you know, people need towels. They want clean towels. You have those already clean towels there. I’m gonna bring it to them because I can’t, you know, I can’t live with less than five star review

[0:35:17] George Reid: and go, Well, that’s

[0:35:20] David Glick: information, you know, customer. And when

[0:35:23] George Reid: I actually had the funniest I said up there being be myself, and I was here in Australia because I spent a lot this time teaching people how to get reviews on Amazon. I was obviously aware of some of the black hat things that we don’t actually recommend, but I know they’re out there. I went a little bit black hat with the reviews and our thing, and I was, like, getting friends to book in for a night, knowing that I could get super hosts as soon as possible. And in my hair dollars like this has got a game, the Airbnb allegory, that it must it um Okay, it’s a final question, David, that I’m gonna let you go and enjoy the rest of your rest of your Monday. Um, what one action would you advise right now to create sustainable success on Amazon?

[0:36:10] David Glick: Um, let me only I don’t know if this is actually answer the question, but you let me answer. And you could tell me if I got it right or not. Uh, you know what we found when I was working with sellers when I was on the F B. A team is something on Amazon isn’t really traditional retail. It is managing the rules. Like you said, the algorithms and the rules that they set up and the rule says that anybody can knock off your product. Uh, so, you know, we talk to sellers, they say, Oh, yeah, yeah, we have a good product. We know that it’s gonna sell for 30 to 60 days, and then we have to go find another good product, because either you, either another seller is gonna source it from the place we sourced it from, or Amazon will start from that place. Um and so the sellers have done great at least in my, uh, opinion are the ones who are super scrappy. They’re able to deal with Amazon’s crappy tools. You know, we’ve gotten better over the years. But like when I was there 10 years ago, the listing tools were and created. The inventory reporting wasn’t great. All those things to be able to deal with sort of changing algorithms and different set of rules and all those things and being agile is, um you know, and sort of. It turns out Amazon gets to set the rules, and so you need to understand the rules deeply and understand how to work with that within that system. And if you do, you could be massively successful. But if you sort of, uh, protest against the rules and you want things to be quote fair and easy. Uh, you’re not going to do great.

[0:37:56] George Reid: I think that’s very interesting. I think if you conversations I’ve had with Wild called The Old Guard where you kind of all people behind these businesses and I always use the example little bit of furniture is that industry has always been a little bit led by an older generation. Andi. For them, it’s all about setting it, their operation in their way. Andi, from personal experience work with some of these individuals. It’s is very difficult to get them to go. Yes, Amazon can be a nightmare. Yes, some things are fair, but you can obviously believe in moan and bitch about the whole experience. Andi not actually get the most out of the opportunity that is selling on Amazon. Or you could be those who go where that was a bit shit. But we’re gonna have to do it like this and step now or that went a little bit wrong. But we learned quickly and we adapted and we overcame, or whatever the case may be. I think that really is a nice point. Know that being and John and those scrappiness, obviously setting up systems are gonna help you so you can create products quickly ramped them up quickly. You’ve got those processes, those people in place. But if you’re in a position where you’re going through your day today, Amazon life and you’re expecting any point that to be a random hurdle phone in front of you, that’s probably the best mindset to have in mind my perspective.

[0:39:21] David Glick: Yeah, because there will be hurdle thrown in front of you

[0:39:25] George Reid: moving hurdles.

[0:39:27] David Glick: Yeah. You know, I talked to one seller, uh, who was early FDA seller. And these guys were like, Oh, yeah, you know, we had $12 to our name to one bottom stocked with Atkins bars, you know, bottom for 10 bars for $10. And we sold the meat for $2. So we went from $12 to $20 then we went about two boxes of actions, bars,

[0:39:48] George Reid: looks

[0:39:48] David Glick: and, you know, they became one of the biggest sellers just by being super scrappy and saying, you know what we do next, What’s our next thing? But it was all about understanding the rules deeply on managing, managing through those. And, you know, it turns out that despite what other people think and was on, actually, once it sellers to be successful like the cornerstone of their business is the selling business. You know, it’s a better business than retail, and so they get in. And for the past 20 years, it’s grown faster than the retail business every year.

[0:40:26] George Reid: Uh huh, I think it’s kind of that bear grill with me. Missing adapter becomes of all over. That certainly certainly is applicable photo Any arms and sellers, Um, I think is always going to be like they’re gonna be produced better tools. They’re going to be producing mawr. More data. I’m making more accessible. But I think you know, if you look at what some of the Chinese sellers are doing, their very adaptable, they’re very actual lake and jump on things quickly. I always say they’re one of the bigger threats for that reason because they’re very adaptable. And you can moan about that or you can kind of take some lessons from it and clue up, train yourself up, continue. Listen to podcasts. So you’re not gonna fall out that first heard leaking Keep keep keep in the race for a little bit longer. Thank you. Thank you so much for for taking the time. Teoh, sit down and be on this delightful Monday morning for 1,000,000 Monday up Tuesday morning for me What we’re doing on Monday afternoon for yourself. And I really appreciate you taking the time.

[0:41:34] David Glick: Yeah, thanks for having me.

[0:41:38] George Reid: Nor is also for all right, Dave, I’m going. Teoh, get this up. Hopefully will be live by the end of the day. And we create some beautiful content for people to clear up a little bit later.

[0:41:49] David Glick: All right

[0:41:52] George Reid: Hey, guys, just a quick one. If you are enjoying a podcast on either have some actionable next steps or new ideas I’d really appreciate if you could one subscribe to the show and leave us. Review thes are really, really important to us. As you probably know, being in the Amazon world on two. If you’re looking for additional support with your brand head over to the website. It’s always day one dot co dot UK. We’ve got links to other Resource is as often our guys speak soon

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