Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Amazon's Jeff Bezos chats with Charlie Rose (2010)

Amazon.com chief, Jeff Bezos sits down to an interview with Charlie Rose from earlier this year. This is a very good discussion of the company's philosophy, its future plans, the growth of e-readers and user adoption of that technology.

It's also a great insight into the thinking of one of our generation's great entrepreneurs, Jeff Bezos.

As you'll see from the interview (watch it here), Bezos understands his customer base and what they want, and he trusts his instincts and Amazon's strengths (as an e-retailer and gadget manufacturer) enough to act on that understanding and not get swayed by suggestions and criticisms from outside voices.

Last week I was thinking about Amazon's decade-plus rise in online retailing. Back in the dot com bubble days, we knew Amazon was an emerging powerhouse in online book selling and later, CDs and music. What some of us didn't realize (myself included) was that Amazon.com would successfully expand into many other areas of retailing. Boy, was I dumb to doubt Bezos' company.

Now, when I want to look up info or reviews on anything from books to backpacks to internet routers, I'm likely to turn to Amazon.com because I know I'll probably find what I need. A lot of other people must feel the same way, because I've heard numerous comments this past month about the ease of shopping for Christmas and holidays on their site. The bubble may have burst back in 2000, but shopping online has become increasingly standard every year since.

There are probably a few main reasons why Amazon has become a go-to option for online shopping, and Bezos outlines them here. He also touches on some of the reasons why Amazon can outshine some physical + online retailers like Wal-Mart. The focus is largely customer-centric and there are some interesting details from Bezos on how they view the retail landscape.

Of course, given the recent Wikileaks hosting fiasco, there's bound to be some serious skepticism over the Amazon web services portion of the discussion, but we'll see how their credibility stands up in this area over time. In the meantime, this is a great interview overall. Check it out.