Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Here Comes Bezos (The Self-Hating Entrepreneur?)

Jeff Bezos is scheduled to visit WaPo for the first time since the announcement of his purchase of the paper.

In a pre-visit telephone conference, he told WaPo:
We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient. If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.
 If we figure out a new golden era at The Post . . . that will be due to the ingenuity and inventiveness and experimentation of the team at The Post. I’ll be there with advice from a distance. If we solve that problem, I won’t deserve credit for it.
 It’s important for The Post not just to survive, but to grow. The product of The Post is still great. The piece that’s missing is that it’s a challenged business. No business can continue to shrink. That can only go on for so long before irrelevancy sets in.
This comment will be pretty disgusting to Randians:
In my experience, the way invention, innovation and change happen is [through] team effort. There’s no lone genius who figures it all out and sends down the magic formula.  
He also writes:
 I’m skeptical of any mission that has advertisers at its centerpiece.

Bezos sounds as though he is a bit of a self-hating entrepreneur. What is his problem with admitting he is the driving force behind Amazon? Does he think Amazon was just a team effort that came about because of vision from the stock boys? And if it is just a team effort, why is he flying in to visit WaPo? Why doesn't he just tell somebody at WaPo to hold a team meeting and get going on creating the new WaPo.  It's bizarre BS.

And what is this hating-advertising all about? A business model must take into consideration customers, suppliers and a revenue stream, which may or may not include advertisers. Many businesses models have advertising at their core, along with other pieces, but to dismiss advertising as though it isn't an important ingredient is simply more bizarre talk.

Bezos has proved to be a very astute businessman, but I think he is carrying a moon rock in his back pocket.


  1. Amazon is a huge advertiser themselves so I am not sure what the advertising bit is all about.

    1. It's about being politically correct. Any CEO who isn't will see his business targeted for destruction by the left-wing media and regulatory state.

      Also, whenever people write about why so-and-so was hired as CEO of [insert major business firm here], they neglect to mention any pull the individual might have within the government. Having friends in high places — who can protect the business from its competitors as well as the state — is probably considered more important than business acumen in such hiring decisions.

  2. Jobs may have been the driving force behind the Iphone. But that doesn't mean he designed it all by himself.

  3. Well, I think the first part is standard management-talk to their people.. "You are the future of the company!", "We can't succeed without the employees!" etc. etc.

    He has to keep the morale up if he's going in there to turn things on its head.

    Also, "skeptical" of relying on advertisers doesn't mean he hates it, does it? Amazon is a huge advertiser, but I don't think anyone is suggesting their core revenue is through ads.

    But, relying on advertising revenue means you have to keep the advertisers happy, which can be a problem for all media types as they adjust content to keep them happy.

    That doesn't mean a paywall is the answer though. There's a lot of other options out there...