25 years ago, Jeff Bezos did one of his first interviews.

In it, he displays remarkable vision.

Let’s break it down… 🧵👇
First, the back story on this viral video.

Bezos was 33 years old.

Amazon had just gone public.

But he was not yet a household name.

That day, he presented at a conference for librarians…

…where Bill Gates was the keynote speaker.
Rich Wiggins attended Bezos’ presentation.

Wiggins loved the Internet and he asked for an interview.

Bezos quickly said yes.

So Wiggins pulled out his Hi-8 camcorder…
First, Bezos is asked why he started Amazon:

“3 years ago, I was in NYC working for a quantitative hedge fund when I came across this startling statistic that web usage was growing at 2,300% a year. So I decided to find a business that made sense in the context of that growth.”

Bezos then explains why he picked books:

“books are incredibly unusual in one respect - there are more items in the book category any other category by far."

"when you have that many items, you can literally build a store online that couldn't exist any other way."

Bezos also sheds light on Amazon’s early obsession with getting things to customers fast:

"We order electronically from a network of wholesalers and distributors. We order those today. They’re on our loading dock the next morning."

Bezos then makes a prescient comment about attention being “the scarce commodity of the late 20th century.” 

He notes Amazon’s approach to gaining mindshare was to do “something new and innovative for the first time that actually has real value for the customer.”

Bezos also shares early learnings on ad tracking:

“we know…not only how many click throughs we get, but how many sell throughs we get. And how many dollars of revenue it generates per ad dollar spent on that creative in that venue - that is, sort of, a marketer’s nirvana.”

Finally, Bezos has studied the history of innovation.

And you get a sense of that:

“This is the Kitty Hawk stage of electronic commerce."

“I think a millennium from now, people are going to look back and think wow, the late 20th century was really a great time to be alive...”

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