Mighty Amazon

Jeff Bezos has been hailed as a visionary and put down as a goofball. He's proved critics wrong by forging a winning management strategy built on brains, guts, and above all, numbers.

Monday, May 26, 2003
By Fred Vogelstein


Even though Bezos is a hard-driving boss, he hires like-minded intelligent people and then plays to their desire to learn. Last month he and chief scientist Andreas Weigend invited MIT physicist Neil Gershenfeld to lecture to 400 Amazonians about the falling price of manufacturing. Gershenfeld daydreamed about how someday Amazon might offer consumers the ability not only to buy anything on its site but also to custom-build and design any product they choose. Monthly lectures like this do little to help move the latest hot book or cellphone. But Bezos uses them to keep employees thinking big. "People here like to invent, and as a result other people who like to invent are attracted here," he says. "And people who don't like to invent are uncomfortable here. So it's self-reinforcing."


Read full article at fortune.com (Fortune May 26, 2003, Vol. 147, No. 10)

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