Jeff Bezos to Amazon Employees and Customers: “You Paid All This”

After landing from his little foray to the edge of space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos thanked the people who let him do it. “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer for paying for all this,” he said.

No, really, that’s what he said.

Going to space had been a dream for Bezos since high school; his farewell address included a discussion of creating permanent human colonies aboard space stations, according to Brad Stone’s The Everything Shop. His high school girlfriend is also quoted in the book, “The reason he makes so much money is to go to space.” In a way, Amazon was a means to an end for Bezos. Founded in 2002, Blue Origin was always the point.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 after leaving DE Shaw, an investment firm; Amazon initially operated from his home. The store started out selling books, but over time expanded to, well, just about anything. The company’s first profit came in 2001, during the dotcom crisis. He is now one of the richest men – and sometimes… the richest man – in the world.

Bezos is known as an especially abrasive leader, provide feedback such as “Are you lazy or incompetent?” “If I hear that idea again, I’ll have to kill myself,” and “Why are you wasting my life?” He was focused on the customer experience at Amazon in every way and was hyper-competitive. When he stepped down as CEO earlier this month, Andy Jassy, ​​formerly the head of Amazon Web Services, took over.