Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. Since then, the company has mutated into a retail and tech giant, making him a multi-billionaire.
But the billionaire is apparently convinced of Amazon's demise. In recent years he has said several times that the company's death is inevitable – and that while he was still CEO of the group.
Such statements are quite unusual for the head of a company of this size. Normally, people in leadership positions only speak positively about the future of their company, with the media constantly breathing down their necks and investors looking over their shoulders.
But talking about his fears of failure seemed to drive him. On these occasions he spoke of the fall of Amazon:
In 2013, Bezos said great companies only last a "few decades."
In 2013, Bezos debuted his burgeoning automated drone delivery system on the 60 Minutes show on one of America's largest television and radio networks, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). "Companies have short lives… and Amazon will be gone one day," he said.
When asked if that bothers him, Bezos replied, "It doesn't bother me because I know there's nothing I can do about it. companies come and go. That goes for even the most dazzling and important of the times — you wait a few decades and they're gone.”
However, he hopes that Amazon will take its last breath after him.
In a letter to his shareholders in 2017, Bezos expanded on his "Day One" philosophy, which states that you should treat every day as a fresh start. In it he said that someone once asked him in a meeting what “Day Two” looked like.
“'Day Two' is stagnation. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by an excruciatingly painful decline. And that's why it's always 'Day One,'" Bezos reportedly replied. "An established company might still be making money on 'Day Two,' but the ultimate outcome would still come," he added. In the letter to the shareholders, he then went on to talk about how to avert "Day Two".
In 2018, he told his staff, "One day Amazon will go under, I'm telling you now."
Bezos' belief in Amazon's inevitable mortality is also evident in footage of a general meeting obtained by CNBC.
"Amazon is not 'too big to fail' … I can even promise you that Amazon will fail one day," Bezos said when asked by an employee who wanted to know about the bankruptcy of companies like Sears.
“Amazon will also go bankrupt. If you look at the big companies, the lifespan is 30+ years, not 100+ years,” he continued. It's his job to delay that day as much as possible.
Amazon's 30th birthday is not far away now.
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