The empty chair

The Empty Chair

In the early days at Amazon, Jeff Bezos left a single chair empty around the boardroom table. It signified the presence of the customer. No matter what the discussion point, conversation would be aligned with the question ‘what’s best for our customer?’. Why? Because that empty chair represented far more than a void at the table. It represented exactly what every business decision, one way or another, meant to the chief decision maker. The customer.

Think back to your last internal meeting. Sales. Marketing. Finance. IT. The discussion points raised. The decisions adopted. The time wasted? Is your customer represented around that table? Do you hear your colleague interrupt conversation asking ‘is this in the best interest of our buyers?’.

Maybe it’s time to provide your customer with a say in how your business operates? Empty chair, or not?

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


First employee of an ecommerce startup back in 1998. I've been using building and growing ecommerce brands ever since (including my own). Get weekly growth lessons from my own work delivered to your inbox below.