Jeff Bezos, the chairman and CEO of Amazon, seems to be a very interesting person. He founded Amazon as an online bookstore, but it has moved into a wide array of different businesses, including music, e-readers, consumer products, Web Services etc. Jeff Bezos also recently bought The Washingon Post and it will be interesting to see how that will change the newspaper.
Amazon just released the new Kindle Fire tablets and Josh Topolsky has an interesting account of meeting with Bezos where he demonstrated the new devices, and especially a take on what kind of company Amazon really is.
During the conversation — knocking around between moments of true hilarity and brass tacks business — I started to see Amazon as a kind of Venn diagram itself, sort of like the one Jeff drew for me. On one side is incredible optimism, a kind of shocking, exciting, scary-fun optimism that makes you feel a little bit like anything is possible. Like the future is now. Like it’s only going to get better. On the other side is insight; a shrewd, cutting, almost preternatural sense of where it’s all going, what consumers want, how businesses get built, and the knowledge to find or build a path to that destination. And there in the middle — where those two disparate sides meet — is Jeff Bezos, laughing.