Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was interviewed onstage at Southern Methodist University as part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership. The video is embedded below.
A few highlights I took away:
•Bezos's father is an immigrant from Cuba, and his mother got pregnant with him when she was 16 and had him when he was 17. (Campaigners against teen pregnancy, take note: as a general rule teen pregnancy may lead to increased risks of adverse outcomes, but Bezos's life has turned out pretty successfully — by a lot of accounts he is the richest person in the world, and his company has saved a lot of people time and money.)
•A publisher once wrote Bezos a letter objecting to Amazon's publishing negative customer reviews and suggesting that Amazon would make more money if it only published positive reviews. Bezos thought about it and realized his company wasn't just there to sell things, but to help customers make purchase decisions.
There's a brief discussion of the Washington Post toward the end, including a pretty funny summary of the conversation between Donald Graham and Bezos about selling the Post, which went something like this, at least as Bezos tells it:
Graham: I'm looking to sell the paper.
Bezos: You've got the wrong guy, I don't know anything about the newspaper business.
Graham: We've got plenty of people here already who know a lot about the newspaper business, don't worry about that. What we need is someone who understands the Internet.