Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Amazon isn't being garlanded with uncontrolled adoration at present.

Why, Bernie Sanders is targeting the company as being, in his mind, a heinous employer.

And then Amazon goes and tries to obtain a patent for putting employees in cages. All for their own safety, you understand.

In essence, you see, some people think of Amazon as a typically heartless tech company in which machines and data rule.

With touching timing, CEO Jeff Bezos thought he'd try and disabuse critics of this notion.

Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington last week -- beginning at around the 8-minute mark of the video -- he insisted that the robotic life is not his way. He said:

All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts... you know, not... not analysis.

Well, who would have believed that? Not... not I. It sounds truly, blessedly human. 

He went on to give a fascinating life lesson: 

It turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct and intuition, taste, heart.

I confess that one word stopped me there. 

Taste.

It's one of the most subjective of elements. It's also one that I don't readily associate with Amazon.

I think of its website as efficient, but certainly not tasteful.

And when I think of certain Amazon products, I feel an incipient need for antibiotics. 

The Amazon Echo, for example, is less tasteful that any trinket any tourist has brought back from any country. Ever.

It's supposed to live in your house, yet it's sheer garbage-can tawdriness makes me wonder how anyone can look at it on a daily basis, never mind talk to it. 

The Kindle, too, is to aesthetics what the worm is to horse racing.

And remember the Amazon Fire Phone? No, I don't know anyone who does either. 

Indeed these products could, to my eyes, have been designed entirely by robots from the Planet Plim. 

Please, I know you'll think I'm exaggerating. 

It's just that Bezos brings up something riveting.

Just as you're making decisions with intuition, heart and guts, so your sense of taste might not lift even one human heart other than your own.

Taste is, actually, optional to business. 

Without taste, you might succeed hugely. Some would argue that many of the world's richest people have attained their golden everything precisely because they have no taste.

They're prepared to dive into the gutter without an inch of golden rubber covering them.

They're prepared to treat people as mere pontoons to be stepped upon, as they skip across the waters of success and boast they did it all themselves.

Rare is the entrepreneur that bothers to consider taste and all its ramifications.

Rare is the entrepreneur who believes that their product should add to the emotional and aesthetic uplift of human hearts.

And that's why quite a few people admire Steve Jobs.

Published on: Sep 18, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.