They’re gonna be experiments, and if they’re experiments, you don’t know ahead of time, though they’re gonna work. Experiments are by their very nature prone to failure, but big success is a few big successes, compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work, so you know bold bets AWS, Kindle Amazon, Prime, our 3rd party seller business.
All of those things are examples of bold bets that that did work and they pay for a lot of experiments. I’ve, made billions of dollars of failures at amazon.com literally billions of dollars of failures, and you know you might remember pets, calm or Cosmo, or you know, give myself a root canal with no anesthesia very easily.
None of those things are fun, but but they also they don’t matter. What really matters is companies that don’t continue to experiment companies that don’t embrace failure. They eventually get in a desperate position where they only thing they can do is make a kind of Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence, whereas companies that are you know, making bets all along.
Even you know big bets, but not bet the company bets I don’t. I don’t believe in bet the company bets that’s. When you’re desperate. That’s. That’s. The last thing you can do. We know from our past experiences that big things start small.
You know mistakes tarts from an acorn and you’ve got a recognizing. You’ve got to be willing to let that acorn grow into a little sapling and then finally, into a small tree, and maybe one day it’ll, be a big business on.
So, in fact, that’s. One of the mottos for one of your initiatives and forgive my my pronunciation of the Latin but Greta team for Oct. What does that mean to you? Well, it means step by step ferociously and it’s.
The motto for Blue Origin and basically you can’t skip steps. You have to put one foot in front of the other things take time you there are no shortcuts, and but but you want to do those steps with you know, passion and ferocity.
I think prior most important piece of intellectual property is our brand name, and I think people and – and I think this is very important – for anybody who’s going to start a company or market an invention to understand is that brands for companies are Like reputations for people and reputations are hard earned and easily lost, so the most important intellectual property that a company can have is for us.
It’s that it’s. It’s, it’s, Amazon. It’s that that name, but what it stands for. We’ve, worked very hard to earn trust. You can’t ask for trust. You just have to do it the hard way, one step at a time.
You make a promise and then fulfill the promise. You say we ‘ Ll deliver this to you. You know it tomorrow and then you actually deliver it tomorrow and if you do that over and over again, then ultimately you can instill your company’s, name with a reputation and that’s.
I think you know. Sometimes people talk about brands in this very amorphous way, but for me I like to think of it as a person and what is the reputation that that person has and how have they earned that reputation, I think stress you can be one of the things that’s very important.
To note about stress is the stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over. So if I find that some particular thing is causing me to have stress that’s, a Oh, a warning flag for me, what it means is there’s, something that I haven’t completely identified.
Perhaps in my conscious mind that is bothering me and I haven’t yet taken any action on. I find as soon as I identify it and make the first phone call or send off the first email message or whatever it is that we’re gonna do to start to address that situation.
Even if it’s not solved the mere fact that we’re, addressing it dramatically, reduces any stress that might come from it. So stress comes from ignoring things that you shouldn’t be ignoring, I think, in large part.
So stress, doesn’t. Come people get stress wrong all the time. My opinion stress, doesn’t come from hard work. For example, you know you can be working incredibly hard and loving it, and likewise you can be out of work and incredibly stressed over that.
So and likewise, if you kind of use the you know, use that as an analogy for what I was just talking about. If you’re out of work, but you’re going through, you know, a disciplined approach of you know a series of job interviews and so on and working to remedy that situation.
You’re, going to be a lot less stressed than if you’re, just worrying about it and doing nothing. If you’re, giving great customer experience there’s. The only way to do that is with happy people you can’t, do it with a set of miserable people.
You know watching the clock all day, so does that include work-life balance and all those things yes, but I would I use. I teach three leadership classes a year at Amazon I’m, a part of it. They’re, bigger classes, but I come in and teach a session and I always talk about work-life balance, except I like to use the phrase.
Work life harmony rather than balance because to me balance implies a strict trade, whereas I find that when I am happy at work, I come home more energized. I’m, a better husband, a better dad and when I’m happy at home, I come in and a better boss and better colleague, and so that that it’s.
Not you could be out of work and we have terrible work-life balance. You know, even though you’ve got all the time in the world right. You could just feel like. Oh, my god, you know, I’m miserable and you would be draining energy, and so you have to find that harmony.
It’s, a much better word and I think for most people it’s about meaning people want to know that they’re, doing something interesting and useful, and for us you know, because of the challenges that we have Chosen for ourselves, we get to work in the future and it’s super fun to work in the future for the right kind of person.
It’s, easy to have ideas. It’s very hard to turn an idea into a successful product. There are a lot of steps in between it takes persistence relentlessness, so I always tell people who are you know who think they want to be entrepreneurs, it’s.
You need a combination of stubborn relentlessness and flexibility, and you have to know when to bewitch and basically you need to be stubborn on your vision, because otherwise it’ll be too easy to give up.
But you need to be very flexible on the details because, as you go along pursuing your vision, you’ll, find that some of your preconceptions were wrong and you’re gonna need to be able to change those things.
So I think, taking an idea successfully, all the way to the market and turning it into a real product that people care about and that really improves people’s lives. It’s, a lot of hard work. I had some family role models and I had some other people.
You know some sort of historical role models that I looked at too. So certainly my my grandfather was a serious role model for me. I just said fit so much time right. You learned different things from grandparents and you learned from parents.
It’s, a it’s a great. I would encourage anybody to try to spend time not only with their parents but with their grandparents and but I, and I also had I to people I always would read about and or Thomas Edison and Walt Disney.
Those were sort of my you know: biographical heroes. I always been interested in in inventors and invention and Edison. Of course, just you know, for for a little kid is the and probably for adults too.
I still feel this way, at least. Is that not only the symbol of that, but the actual fact of that they just incredible inventor and and I’ve, always felt that there’s. A certain kind of important pioneering.
That goes on from an inventor like Thomas Edison, and then Disney was a different sort of thing. He also you know, a real pioneer and an inventor and doing new things, but it seemed to me that he had this incredible capability to create a vision that he could get a large number of people to share, because the the things that Disney invented like Disneyland, You know the theme parks are so, and they were such big visions that no single individual, unlike a lot of the things that Edison worked on, no single individual, could have her pull them off and and Walt Disney really was able to get a big team of People working in a concerted direction, I don’t, really remember the exact day or anything, but when I was in college is when I started thinking about wanting to be an entrepreneur someday.
So it was. I was not the kid with the lemonade stand. You know I didn’t. I wasn’t one of these kids, who was always trying to race, but I always wanted to be a scientist when I was little yeah, but I’d, also always loved computers.
I, like I, was lucky because at my age this is unusual to have access to a mainframe computer from my elementary school. When I was in fourth grade and quickly learned that there was a pre-programmed Star Trek game on that computer and then I never did anything except play Star Trek with the computer, so I don’t know how formative that was certainly led.
It’s, really helped my Star Trek knowledge considerably and and but I’ve, always loved computers somewhere in college. I started watching some of the people who were like setting up. You know college pizza, delivery services, and you know the kind of the core entrepreneurs and thinking you know.
This looks like a really fun thing to do. I ain’t, been very rare idea that can be done by a single individual. Almost everything that is going to change the world solve a problem improve something these are usually big efforts and they require you know, teams a team working together to really get something important done, and that has been the story of amazon.
com every step along the way we’ve had a team here that is, is making this work. I mean I don’t know, even even at the smallest scale, you have to figure out how to get help from your friends from your family members from people that you can hire in those early days.
I think, without that it would never work. Do something you’re, very passionate about, and don’t, try to chase what is kind of the hot passion of the day. I think we actually saw this. I think you see it all over the place and many different contexts, but I think we saw it in the internet world quite a bit where you know it’s, sort of peak of the sort of internet.
You know mania and say: 1999. You found people who were you know very passionate, something they kind of left that job and decided. I’m. Gon na you know, go do something in the internet because it’s. You know it was almost like the you know.
The 18-49 Gold Rush, in a way I mean you, find that people, if you go back and say to the history of the 18-49 Gold Rush, you find that you know at that time. Everybody who was in was within the shouting distance of California.
Was you know they might have been a doctor, but they quit being a doctor and they started panning for gold and that that almost never works, and even if it does work, you know, according to some metric financial success or whatever it might be, I suspect it Leaves you ultimately unsatisfied, so you really need to be very clear with yourself and I think one of the best ways to do that is this notion of projecting yourself forward to age 80.
Looking back on your life and trying to make sure you’ve minimized the number of regrets you have that works for that works for career decisions. It works for family decisions, you know, do you want? I have a 14 month old son and it’s very easy for me to.
If I think about myself, when I’m 80, I know I want to watch that little guy grow up, and so it it’s. I don’t want to be 80 and think shoot. You know I missed that whole thing and I don’t have the kind of relationship with my son that I wished I had and so on and so on.
So, if you think about that, so I guess another thing that I would recommend to people is that they always take a long term point of view, and I think this is something about which there’s, a lot of controversy.
You know there’s, a there’s a you know something a lot of people and I’m. Just not one of them believe that you should live for the now. I think what you do is you think about the the the great expanse of time ahead of you and try to make sure that you’re planning for that in a way that’s going to leave, you ultimately satisfied.
So this is just my. This is the way it works for me, and I mean this is everybody needs to find that for themself? So there are a lot of paths to satisfaction and you need to find one that works works for you.