Invent and Wander by Jeff Bezos is a collection of Jeff Bezo’s writings that give you an insider’s view of the why and how of his success as the CEO of Amazon.
From innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Jeff Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us.
Written in a direct, down-to-earth style, Invent and Wander offers you a masterclass in business values, strategy, and execution.
Scroll down and read 30 quotes from Invent and Wander by Jeff Bezos.
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30 Quotes from Invent and Wander by Jeff Bezos
To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.
You get different gifts in life, and one of my great gifts is my mom and dad.
Cleverness is a gift; kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy—they’re given, after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
I didn’t think I’d regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all.
I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I’m proud of that choice.
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make? Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure? Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
Customer trust is hard to win and easy to lose. When you let customers make your business what it is, then they will be loyal to you—right up to the second that someone else offers them better service.
The whole point of moving things forward is that you run into problems, failures, things that don’t work. You need to back up and try again.
My wife, much to her credit, has this great saying: “I would much rather have a kid with nine fingers than a resourceless kid,” which is a great attitude about life.
The name Amazon comes from Earth’s biggest river, a reference to “Earth’s biggest selection.”
I was fine being the second-wealthiest person in the world. I would much rather be known as inventor Jeff Bezos or entrepreneur Jeff Bezos or father Jeff Bezos. Those kinds of things are much more meaningful to me, and it’s an output measure.
Most of the inventing we do at Amazon goes like this: somebody has an idea, other people improve the idea, other people come up with objections for why it can never work, and then we solve those objections.
You have to use heart and intuition. There has to be risk-taking. You have to have instinct. All the good decisions have to be made that way.
I won’t list all of our failed experiments, but the big winners pay for thousands of failed experiments.
As a senior executive, what do you really get paid to do? You get paid to make a small number of high-quality decisions. Your job is not to make thousands of decisions every day.
Warren Buffet says he’s good if he makes three good decisions a year, and I really believe that.
The way you earn trust, the way you develop a reputation is by doing hard things well over and over and over.
It’s not easy to do hard things well, but that’s how you earn trust.
People are entitled to their opinions, but it is the job of a senior leadership team to say no.
I don’t even like the phrase “work-life balance.” I think it’s misleading. I like the phrase “work-life harmony.”
You don’t want mercenaries at your company. You want missionaries.
How do you hire great people and keep them from leaving? By giving them, first of all, a great mission—something that has real purpose, that has meaning.
You have to be willing to take risks. You have to be willing to fail, and people don’t like failure.
The only way to stay ahead and to keep that unlevel playing field, which is what you certainly want, is to innovate.
Not every business takes this customer-first approach, but we do, and it’s our greatest strength.
When you have a setback, you get back up and try again. You can invent your way to a better place.
In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.
Which quote from Invent and Wander by Jeff Bezos is your favorite?