In the last two weeks, Jeff Bezos has made two very bold decisions that have shocked people.
The first was his decision to post a 2,200-word post on Medium outlining what he said was an attempt by the parent company of the National Enquirer to blackmail him--even though that meant preemptively revealing some embarrassing news.
The second, which is probably even more consequential to Amazon long-term, is the decision Thursday not to put half of HQ2 in New York City. (Let's assume the company wouldn't make that call without Bezos's heavy involvement.)
Bezos is one of the most quoted people on the planet, largely because he's so successful. But some of those quotes now take on an entirely new meaning.
Take a look at these 17 quotes for example, and you'll see exactly what I mean:
1. "It's perfectly healthy--encouraged, even--to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today."
2. "If you can't tolerate critics, don't do anything new or interesting."
3. "Where you are going to spend your time and your energy is one of the most important decisions you get to make in life."
4. "If you only do things where you know the answer in advance, your company goes away."
5. "The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they'd already solved. They're open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking."
6. "The three most important things in retail are location, location, location. The three most important things for our consumer business are technology, technology, technology."
7. "If you never want to be criticized, for goodness sake don't do anything new."
8. "The people who are right a lot often change their minds."
9. "Not the outcome any of us wanted."
10. "When you receive criticism from well-meaning people, it pays to ask, 'Are they right?' And if they are, you need to adapt what they're doing. If they're not right ... you need to have that long-term willingness to be misunderstood."
11. "Life's too short to hang out with people who aren't resourceful."
12. "Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room."
13. "To get something new done you have to be stubborn and focused, to the point that others might find unreasonable."
14. "I'm not prepared to make any multi-decade commitments."
15. "We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details."
16. "Effective process is not bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is senseless process."
17. "Things never go smoothly."