I'm skeptical that the novel will be 're-invented.'
I'm skeptical that the novel will be "reinvented." If you start thinking about a medical textbook or something, then, yes, I think that's ripe for reinvention. You can imagine animations of a beating heart. But I think the novel will thrive in its current form. That doesn't mean that there won't be new narrative inventions as well. But I don't think they'll displace the novel.
With the amount of fixed expense that goes into developing something like the BE-4 engine, you want it to be used as much as possible.
The Moon Village concept has a nice property in that it basically just says, 'Look, everybody builds their own lunar outpost, but let's do it close to each other.' That way... you can go over to the European Union lunar outpost and say, 'I'm out of eggs. What have you got?'
We fly to 106 kilometers. We've always had as our mission that we always wanted to fly above the Karman line because we didn't want there to be any asterisks next to your name about whether you're an astronaut or not.
We need to know what the resources of the moon are. We have great evidence now because of different kinds of radar and spectroscopic analysis that people have been able to do. But we really do need to go visit there, and we can do that with a robot craft without any problem.
Today I continue with my science-fiction reading habit and find it very mind-expanding. Always makes me think.
Many of the traits that make Amazon unusual are now deeply ingrained in the culture. In fact, if I wanted to change them, I couldn't. The cultures are self-reinforcing, and that's a good thing.
One of the things that I hope will distinguish Amazon.com is that we continue to be a company that defies easy analogy. This requires a lot of innovation, and innovation requires a lot of random walk.
Invention is by its very nature disruptive. If you want to be understood at all times, then don't do anything new.
The question really is, are you improving the world? And you can do that in many models. You can do that in government, you can do that in a nonprofit, and you can do it in commercial enterprise.
One of the things that I'm very excited about with New Shepard, which is our suborbital tourism vehicle, is using that to get a lot of practice. One of the equilibria that we're at today with space launch is that we don't get to practice enough.
People forget already how much utility they get out of the Internet -- how much utility they get out of e-mail, how much utility they get out of even simple things like brochureware online.
The reason we chose vertical landing as our recovery architecture is that vertical landing scales really well.
The missionary is building the product and building the service because they love the customer, because they love the product, because they love the service. The mercenary is building the product or service so that they can flip the company and make money.
I have won this lottery. It's a gigantic lottery, and it's called Amazon.com. And I'm using my lottery winnings to push us a little further into space.
The strategic objective of New Shepard is to practice, and a lot of the subcomponents of New Shepard actually get directly reused on the second stage of New Glenn.
We're taking all of the lessons that we have from New Shepard and incorporating them into New Glenn.
We're working on New Glenn, which is our orbital vehicle, but we have in our mind's eye an even bigger vehicle called New Armstrong.
If you have a business model that relies on customers being misinformed, you better start working on changing your business model.
It's very important for entrepreneurs to be realistic. So if you believe on that first day while you're writing the business plan that there's a 70 percent chance that the whole thing will fail, then that kind of relieves the pressure of self-doubt.
There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment.
I like having the digital camera on my smart phone, but I also like having a dedicated camera for when I want to take real pictures.
If your customer base is aging with you, then eventually you are going to become obsolete or irrelevant. You need to be constantly figuring out who are your new customers and what are you doing to stay forever young.
When competitors are in the shower in the morning, they're thinking about how they're going to get ahead of one of their top competitors. Here in the shower, we're thinking about how we are going to invent something on behalf of a customer.
I'm not saying that advertising is going away. But the balance is shifting. If today the successful recipe is to put 70 percent of your energy into shouting about your service and 30 percent into making it great, over the next 20 years I think that's going to invert.
If there's one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.
I definitely believe people should pay for copyrighted works. And the laws are sufficient: They already require you to pay for copyright work. There's no confusion. The problem is...it's a heck of a lot easier to steal MP3s than to buy them.
But there's still so much you can do with technology to improve the customer experience. And that's the sense in which I believe it's still Day One, and that it's early in the day. If anything, the rate of change is accelerating.
When you are eighty years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices.
I think one of the things people don't understand is we can build more shareholder value by lowering product prices than we can by trying to raise margins. It's a more patient approach, but we think it leads to a stronger, healthier company. It also serves customers much, much better.
We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent.
Seek instant gratification -- or the elusive promise of it -- and chances are you'll find a crowd there ahead of you.
If you are going to do large-scale invention, you have to be willing to do three things: You must be willing to fail; you have to be willing to think long term; and you have to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.
The thing about inventing is you have to be both stubborn and flexible. The hard part is figuring out when to be which.
Mediocre theoretical physicists make no progress. They spend all their time understanding other people's progress.
We like to pioneer, we like to explore, we like to go down dark alleys and see what's on the other side.
We're building a unique global platform...In the last 18 months we found that sellers and partners are interested in complementing their online and offline businesses with Amazon's platform.
I read 'The High Frontier' in high school. I read it multiple times, and I was already primed. As soon as I read it, it made sense to me. It seemed very clear that planetary surfaces were not the right place for an expanding civilization inside our solar system.
To get something new done you have to be stubborn and focused, to the point that others might find unreasonable.
One thing that I find very unmotivating is the kind of Plan B argument: when Earth gets destroyed, you want to be somewhere else. That doesn't work for me. We have sent robotic probes now to every place in the solar system, and this is the best one.
If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you're competing against a lot of people, But if you're willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you're now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavours that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We're willing to plant seeds, let them grow--and we're very stubborn. We say we're stubborn on vision and flexible on details.
If you're not stubborn, you'll give up on experiments too soon. And if you're not flexible, you'll pound your head against the wall and you won't see a different solution to a problem you're trying to solve.
We have the resources to build room for a trillion humans in this solar system, and when we have a trillion humans, we'll have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts. It will be a way more interesting place to live.
In just a few hundred years, we will have to cover the entire surface of the Earth in solar cells if we want to continue to grow our energy usage.
Our biggest cost is not power, or servers, or people. It's lack of utilization. It dominates all other costs.
When we build our own colonies, we can do them in near-Earth vicinity, because people are going to want to come back to Earth. Very few people -- for a long time, anyway -- are going to want to abandon Earth altogether.
If you're not doing something that people will remark on, then it's going to be hard to generate word of mouth.
You cannot make a giant space company in your dorm room. Not today. And the reason is that the heavy lifting infrastructure isn't in place.
We're not competitor obsessed, we're customer obsessed. We start with the customer and we work backwards.
If you think about the long term then you can really make good life decisions that you won't regret later.
If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
You know you're not anonymous on our site. We're greeting you by name, showing you past purchases, to the degree that you can arrange to have transparency combined with an explanation of what the consumer benefit is.
I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.
The Internet is disrupting every media industry...people can complain about that, but complaining is not a strategy. And Amazon is not happening to book selling, the future is happening to book selling.
Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice.
Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy-they're given after all. Choices can be hard.
But there's so much kludge, so much terrible stuff, we are at the 1908 Hurley washing machine stage with the Internet. That's where we are. We don't get our hair caught in it, but that's the level of primitiveness of where we are. We're in 1908.
One of the things it was obvious you could do with an online store is have a much more complete selection.
What consumerism really is, at its worst is getting people to buy things that don't actually improve their lives.
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
The thing that motivates me is a very common form of motivation. And that is, with other folks counting on me, it's so easy to be motivated.
There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you're good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.
The best customer service is if the customer doesn't need to call you, doesn't need to talk to you. It just works.
I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.
What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you -- what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind -- you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn't a strategy.
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