Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos



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fixate customer Silicon Valley
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clever arguably take him aside
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set up score (2) lead the way
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rush expand bide his time
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profit u-turn cometitive
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viable gem (2) longsighted
plot conquer methodically
as if pay off live by it
ranch goal (2) incremental
fund secretive plot it out






This is Jeff Bezos. He is the richest person in the world. Back in 2017, he became the world’s first centi-billionaire: that’s a net worth of a hundred billion US dollars.

And having made tens of billions during the corona crisis virus pandemic, that figure is a whole lot more. His fortune came from founding Amazon, which he’s still the boss of.

That’s not to mention his other ventures, from the Washington Post to Amazon owned Whole Foods to space exploration company Blue Origin.

The list goes on.

But Mr. Bazos seems a bit of a contradictory character: a nerdy alpha male, with a reputation for really caring for customers — but accused of neglecting his employees. A businessman criticized for his charity efforts, but fixated on saving the planet.

Like his Silicon Valley counterpart Elon Musk, Bezos sees investing in space travel as a moral duty.

But back on Earth with politicians coming at him from all sides, with one of his own vice presidents quitting over Amazon’s response to pandemic-concerned workers, he seems to have his hands full.

Here are a few things you should know about Jeff Bezos.

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He was a precocious child.

At just three years old, Bezos figured out how to take apart his cot with a screwdriver, because he wanted it to be like a real bed.

He developed engineering skills at a very young age, setting up an electronic alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room.
Aged ten, his precociousness had got the better of him when he caused his grandmother to burst into tears after calculating how many years she’d taken off her life by smoking.

His grandfather took him aside and told him,

Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon: “Listen, you’re gonna figure out one day that’s it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

Bezos’s public image is arguably someone who cares more about cleverness than kindness. And it’s his ongoing focus on metrics at Amazon that really shows this.

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He’s obsessed with metrics

Early on, the Amazon boss would ask interviewees for test scores, and continually raised the score required for the job.

As the Amazon talent pool increased, those with the lowest scores were let go.

In Amazon warehouses, workers have complained of timed toilet-breaks, and electronic workstations which monitor employees to ensure they are packing enough boxes.

But Bezos’s affection for metrics might actually explain Amazon’s highly unusual way of doing business.

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For years, the CEO got a lot of grief from Wall Street for the store’s lack of profit.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “As the stock price was going the wrong way, everything inside the company was going the right way.”

But he was the tortoise; and not the hare. Mr. Bazos was not going to be rushed, and was happy to bide his time reinvesting and expanding the company, confident that his long-term vision will pay off.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “Many of the traits of that make Amazon unusual are now deeply ingrained in the culture.”

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Amazon culture isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Bezos has always done things a little bit differently in Amazon. He set up the bookstore in his garage in 1994, warning early sinvestors there was a 70% chance it would fail.

Since then, he has established many rules, rituals and traditions, which to the outsider, seem a touch eccentric. Don’t even think of using PowerPoint in an Amazon presentation. It’s banned.

Instead, everyone reads and discusses a long, carefully written memo. He doesn’t like big teams either. In fact, according to Besoz, any one team should be small enough that it could be fed by two pizzas.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “If there is one thing is about, it’s obsessive attention to the customer experience.”

Above all, Bezos likes to talk about what he calls customer obsession. In fact if you have a problem with Amazon, you can even send Jeff an email.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “My email address is famous, and I keep it and I read it. It’s”

Mr. Bazos will often forward a complaint to a colleague, accompanied by a single question mark, meaning they should probably drop whatever they are doing and look into this.

And in the office, employees are encouraged to rate each other and expect to adhere to the fourteen leadership principles, which include having the backbone to criticize others.

When a New York Times article depicted an atmosphere of bullying at the company, Jeff Bezos responded directly in a memo to his employees: “Anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the New York Times would be crazy to stay.”

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He’s taken heat from many politicians

In 2018, President Trump accused Bezos of sales tax avoidance and anti-competitive business practices, leading to Amazon’s share price falling by nine percent, and reducing Bezos’s personal wealth by over ten billion dollars, although he later recouped this.

Criticism of Amazon continued with senator Bernie Sanders’s “Stop Bezos Act”

Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont: “The wealthiest person in the world is advertising jobs that pay workers wages that are so low that they have to go on food stamps.”

But Bazos actually responded and raised the minimum wage at Amazon to $15.

Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont: “Mr. Bezos and Amazon are now leading the way.”

And this isn’t the only time Bezos has made a dramatic u-turn. In 2018, he rebuffed criticism for a perceived lack of charity work by contributing a total of two billion dollars to his Bezos Day One Fund, homelessness and education, a charity founded by his ex-wife, author Mackenzie Bezos.

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Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “We are really evolved to be pioneers.

He’s got big plans in space.

Bezos invests one billion dollars each year into space company, Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “This is the most important work I’m doing. When I was five years old, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. I was imprinted with this passion for space and for exploration.”

Since even high school, Bezos has dreamed of an epic plan for humanity.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder: “This gem of a planet, we’re finally as a species, big enough to really impact it, we can fix that problem by moving out into the solar system.”

Like Elon Musk, he’s creating a fleet of rockets, which as if by magic, can land themselves vertically, making them reusable, and so far more financially viable.

Unlike Musk, he isn’t speeding towards his goal, but methodically and quietly plotting it out. Gradatim Ferociter, step by step ferociously is the motto of Blue Origin, and one which Bezos himself lives by, who today is building a ten-thousand (10,000) year clock, deep inside a mountain on his Texas ranch as a symbol of longsightedness.

This incremental and often secretive approach was how Bezos conquered retail . . . and it could be how he conquered space too.

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1. The coronavirus outbreak has caused Jeff Bezos’s businesses to suffer. His profits and shave values have fallen considerably. True or false?

2. Is Amazon his only enterprise or does he have multiple streams of revenue?

3. As a child, did Bezos do well only well in math and science?

4. Bezos hires Amazon staff and employees based on their job interview, body language, character, personality and potential. Is this right or wrong?

5. Does Bezos demand fast action, quick results?

6. The most important guiding principle or rule for Bezos and Amazon is the bottom line (continuous profits). Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Does everyone agree that Amazon is the best place to work and has an ideal work environment?

8. Is Besoz only interested in business, money and success?


A. I have purchased things on Amazon. Yes or no? Do your friends shop on Amazon?

B. Is online shopping popular in your city and country? What are some popular platforms? Who shops online? What do they like to purchase?

C. Online shopping is wonderful, great and fantastic! Everything is great about online shopping. What do you think?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Have you and your friends thought of selling or trading online?

F. Should people and governments do anything?

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