Finally! One successful Tech Entrepreneur hailing from Princeton. It is nice to hear about a successful man that went to the school I am currently attending. Bezos is an interesting man. In some ways, his story is as traditional as that of any normal Princeton graduate, and yet in many others he is a man of many many calculated risks, jumps, and leaps. There is a saying here on campus that every knowledgeable man walking out of Princeton ends up as a Wall-Street Junky and Bezos was no different. He started just like the rest of us, but ended up oh so differently. I want to explore some of the character traits that allowed him to make this jump away from the well travelled beaten path and onto something a little bit more unique.
Unlike Jobs, and Gates, Bezos is easier to relate to. Bezos isn’t a freak of nature who dropped out of college, had hippy desires, and/or was such a genius that people couldn’t relate to him. He was quite the contrary. He was a relatable, easy to talk to guy, who was the most out going of his coworkers. He did one of the most Princetonian things and worked at DE Shaw after graduation, not a high risk entrepreneurship venture. He was by many standards just an overly smart normal individual, and not someone destined for success from the beginning. However, much like Jobs and Gates, Bezos has many character traits that helped him become the man he is today.
A man once told me that passionate curiosity is one of the critical skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur and CEO. Bezos has this trait in plentiful amounts. Bezos is an introspective, constantly questioning, and constantly observing man who learns from his mistakes and analyzes every moment. We are talking about an incredibly mathematical and analytical mind that truly dissects every problem he/she is presented with. This is the type of man that would solve math puzzles just for the fun of solving them. This trait of constant curiosity is what drives his passion and ability to succeed. Its because of this curiosity that he beats his colleagues in his work ability, and what allows him to go into overdrive on any project and really create something unique. He is a man of analytical science, a man that constantly wants more information. Think of him like the human Google.
What have I gained from his story?
I think the most important lesson to learn from his story is that the most important facets to success are not restricted by your life story. You don’t have to be a dropout. You don’t have to be a freak of nature, or a super genius. You just have to have the willpower to challenge the status quo. You have to be a man/woman that is constantly observing, constantly challenging, and constantly learning. And that in itself is the most important facet to success. By being a constantly curious person, you can start seeing things that others miss. You can join the dots that others don’t even see. You can mix two fields that perhaps others had not even considered.
In the world of ideation, there is an old adage that always rings true:
When you have many ideas, at least one will be good. So, along those lines, its best to have as many data points as possible. At the very least you’ll see some connection that somebody else didn’t see.
Bezos gives me a little more hope. He makes me appreciate that I do not have to be a freak of nature, and that normal people with a curious overdrive can still be successful and strive to reach the “World Cup” of entrepreneurship.
Till next time!