Watch this profile of Jeff Bezos in 1999

Everyone was right

This is a great preview of Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos in 1999. It captures the skepticism about the company and the huge losses it was sustaining as it tried to stake its place as the world’s online bookstore. That eventually expanded into the world’s store for everything.

The company was only 5 years old at the time and it was the height of the tech boom. Shares of AMZN were trading at $150. The would fall to $10 two years later and it would take more than 12 years to regain the lofty heights of the dot-com boom.

But you can see from the start that Bezos had a vision (and a hearty laugh). On Friday, he became the world’s only person worth $100 billion but when you consider that he was worth $10 billion when this was shot, it somehow seems less impressive. After all, it’s only a 13.7% annualized return.

What’s also fascinating was that just about everyone was right, to some extent. Of course, Bezos was right about the future, but the critics of the stock price and valuations were also right. Or at least they were for a long time. And the analyst who warned that Wal-Mart should wake up was definitely right.

Ego & Self Importance

Those that fight don’t listen those that listen don’t fight.—Fritz Perls

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”—- Hermann Hesse

“My benefactor used to say that a warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one.”–Don Juan (The Fire From Within)
[Petty tyrants work on your ego.]

Take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth.–AA saying

The result you got was the communication you intended – Werner Erhard [The content may be OK, but the tone was hostile.]

“The only way to stave off boredom, in a complex domesticated primate like humankind, is to increase one’s intelligence.  This is not appealing to the average primate, who instead invents emotional games (soap opera and grand opera dramatics).”–Robert Anton Wilson

“It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power.” — John Adams, 1788
[Power is the third enemy of man.]