Heavy lies the crown, as we can only imagine what it takes to be one of the most successful businessmen in the world. Founder of Amazon and permanent tenant of the Forbes Rich List, Jeff Bezos, knows a thing or two about getting “it” done, whatever “it” may be. And as confirmed by both former and current employees, it shows in the work culture of his ventures. Here are six times Jeff Bezos said “Fuck you!” to feelings and demonstrated the ruthlessness required to make it in this world.
“Devastating” workplace criticism
The man himself apparently does not candy coat it if you screw the pooch. Some recorded best hits include:
- “Why are you ruining my life?”
- “If I hear that idea again, I’m [going to] have to kill myself.”
- “Are you lazy or just incompetent?”
- “I trust you to run world-class operations and this is another example of how you are letting me down.”
Yeah. Would hate to be on the receiving end of those ones.
Easy to piss off, hard to impress
Like most bosses, you might find yourself developing strange, secondary daddy issues with Bezos (Just me?).
“Presenting to Jeff is a gauntlet that tends to send people back to the cave to lick their wounds and stay out of the sunlight for a while,” says former Amazon employee, Steve Yegge.
This is an increasingly up-hill battle with Powerpoint, as leaked emails have revealed Bezos believes it encourages people to “… gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the inner connectedness of ideas…” Powerpoint has since been banned from the Amazon campus.
Bezos encouraged Amazon to hunt publishing houses like a “… cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle…”
Like any larger company, Amazon has been accused of being predatory towards less powerful companies. And rightly so. Bezos has been quoted to advocating a rather aggressive approached towards smaller publishers. Just the cost of doing business, really.
Instigating a civil war to keep employees on their toes
We all love to stir some shit every now and then. But sometimes it has its benefits. Bezos has gone so far as to initiate secret tech team projects to pit employees against one another, and keep the machine lean. Ex-Amazon senior developer, David Loftness, told the New York Times how he dedicated years into streamlining the site’s search capabilities before discovering Bezos had greenlit a covert competing effort to build alternate technology rendering his work obsolete.
Hiring top industry experts only to ignore everything they suggested
Bezos is a notorious micromanager who once drove Larry Tesler away after going to the efforts of poaching him from Apple. This was apparently due in part to the fact Bezos ignored everything Tesler had to contribute for the span of three years. Ouch.
Bezos once had the entire Amazon system redone, threatening anyone who didn’t participate with a sacking
“The Dread Pirate Bezos” ordered the Amazon teams to completely overhaul the system back in 2002, with the threat non-compliance being met with a firing. The move, although a tad harsh, has since been applauded, as many reveal how effective it was in elevating the retail platform.
“He didn’t — and doesn’t — care even a tiny bit about the well-being of the teams, nor about what technologies they use, nor in fact any detail whatsoever about how they go about their business unless they happen to be screwing up,” says Yegge.