Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs share more similarities than differences
Amazon, like Apple, is a powerful source in tablet, technology manufacturing
Bezos resembles Jobs in both business practices and personal characteristics
With the passing of Steve Jobs earlier this month, the tech industry lost one of its most revered icons. So where will the industry turn for inspiration now that Jobs is gone?
New Apple CEO Tim Cook will keep the business cranking along, but he’s unlikely to inspire the same kind of devotion as Jobs. Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg has star power, but he and his company are still too young and untested. At Google, Larry Page is too awkward and Eric Schmidt too slick, and a lot of the company’s recent products are too unfinished.
But there’s one tech leader who just might fit the bill: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Bezos runs his business the same way Steve Jobs ran his, with a relentless focus on long-term value over short-term profits and a willingness to place big bets in seemingly unrelated new areas.
Steve Jobs took Apple on a detour from personal computers into music with the iPod, and then into cell phones with the iPhone. It worked, and made Apple into the biggest and richest tech company in the world.
Jeff Bezos is doing the same thing at Amazon.
About five years ago, Amazon noticed it had a lot of spare capacity in its data centers that was only used during the holiday season. So it started renting out some of that capacity to other companies. Now hundreds of high-profile Internet startups, including big names like Foursquare and Yelp, run their businesses on Amazon Web Services.
Somehow, an online bookseller became the most important provider of “cloud computing” – a fancy term for running other companies’ online services.
In 2007, Amazon introduced its electronic reader, the Kindle. The product limped along for a couple of years, then started to take off in 2010 with the third generation.