Search Google for 'relentless', and you'll see right away that there are two slightly different connotations that the word can take on. First, there's the idea of being 'unceasingly intense', synonymous with terms like unstoppable, persistent, and steady. Then there's the second definition, 'harsh or inflexible', represented by a different list of synonyms -- like heartless, grim, and even cruel.
So, what does this have to do with Jeff Bezos?
Relentless was Bezos' first choice when trying to come up with a name for the company that would become Amazon, way back in 1994. Okay, not the first choice -- it originally went by Cadabra, Inc., which was later scrapped after being misheard by callers as 'Cadaver, Inc.'
In the hunt for a new moniker, Bezos fell in love with Relentless. Friends and mentors to Bezos weren't sold. They said it sounded a bit, well, grim.
We all know what the eventual choice was, but clearly, something about the idea struck a chord with Bezos, because if you go to relentless.com, then ... well, I'll just let you try it (it's safe for work, I promise). Immediately makes you smile, doesn't it?
Some have criticized Amazon for its treatment of employees. Some have even called the company heartless (another synonym of relentless, wouldn't you believe). Those allegations notwithstanding, there is absolutely no doubt that in Amazon, Bezos has created an assiduous, pertinacious, importunate force (I'm done with the synonyms now, I swear).
In fact, the e-commerce monolith is currently poised to become the second company in history with a $1 trillion valuation -- that's a situation you don't find yourself in by being anything less than unstoppable. What's more, you can bet that when it happens, people around the globe are going to be calling Amazon 'relentless' -- and meaning it in all sorts of ways.