Great advice from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

In a previous life, I was recruited for a young company in Seattle.  I would report directly to the CEO.  One of my earliest encounters with a VC was during this time, when he called me at home to recruit me to the company.  That company was, the CEO was Jeff Bezos, and the VC who called was John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins.  I wasn’t sure what I had done to be so lucky, and I am still very grateful to both for their time and perspectives.

I will never forget something Jeff told me: “Regrets in life come from acts of omission–and, I don’t want to have regrets.”  You see, I had asked Jeff why he had quit his job at a fantastic NYC hedge fund, packed up all of his things, and driven cross-country to Seattle to open an on-line bookstore.

His view was that, at the end of your life, you don’t have great regrets about what you did.  You tend to regret what you did not do.  Jeff thought that the Internet was a once-in-a-generation phenomenon.  He wanted to go for it.

I know thinking about death isn’t a fun blog topic.  Nevertheless, I want to write and encourage all those who often think about starting a new business, to now, really think about it.  Rather than ask “why” you’d go off and forge a new trail, instead ask yourself “why not?”

Live to minimize regrets.  A good perspective, I think.


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