Jeff Bezos will go down as one of the top entrepreneurs of all time. In this great article in Wired, Jeff Bezos talks about how Amazon views the Kindle as a gateway to the media services of Amazon, rather than as piece of hardware. In discussing how the Kindle came to pass and how Amazon is not afraid to disrupt industries (eg. the publishing industry) where it may be strong, Bezos says:
“As a company, one of our greatest cultural strengths is accepting the fact that if you’re going to invent, you’re going to disrupt. A lot of entrenched interests are not going to like it. Some of them will be genuinely concerned about the new way, and some of them will have a vested self-interest in preserving the old way. But in both cases, they’re going to create a lot of noise, and it’s very easy for employees to be distracted by that. It could be criticism of something that we actually believe in. It could also be too much praise about something that we’re not doing as well as the outside world says we’re doing it. We’re going to stay heads-down and work on the business.”
At startups, you are constantly having to reinvent yourself as you grow…even if your business doesn’t change much, if you are successful, your company will expand rapidly and the type of company you are has to evolve with it. To see such a large company rapidly innovate and create entirely new categories of services (eg. Amazon Web Services) is very inspiring.