Bezos on CleanApp

Assessing CleanApp with Bezos’ logic.

Over at Social Capital, Alex Danco has a great 4-part series where he theorizes “abundance” as a heuristic for understanding scarcity and the core Econ101 question of how to best allocate scarce resources.

The entire series is excellent, and we strongly encourage everyone to read it. Danco’s opening quotation in Part 4 is especially helpful for understanding value propositions. It’s none other than Bezos, king of Amazon, who offers his reflections on priority areas:

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next ten years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question, ‘What’s not going to change in the next ten years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time… In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true ten years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish prices were a little higher,’ or ‘I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying dividends for our customers ten years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long run, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

-Jeff Bezos

At CleanApp, we love this framework. We did a quick thought experiment and it checks out for us too. So what follows is an adaptation of the Bezos quote to CleanApp’s underlying logic:

In cities, we know that citizens want clean neighborhoods, and we know that’s going to be true ten years from now. They want fast trash pickup; they want clean streets. It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a citizen comes up and says, ‘I love CleanApp; I just wish reporting hazards was harder,’ or ‘I love CleanApp, I just wish you’d pickup trash a little more slowly.’ Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, speeding those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying dividends for the world’s citizens ten years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long run, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

-CleanApp