Long-term thinking

Steven Levy did a great interview in Wired of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The money quote, for me:

If every­thing you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few compa­nies are willing to do that… At Amazon… [w]e’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn. We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.

I know I’ve person­ally been too focussed on the short-term in the past—and any casual browser of the new startups on Angel­List will see plenty of fast-follow startups with little to differ­en­tiate them from the competition.

Bezos is a great CEO, and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Amazon is an amazing company.