Jeff Bezos To Washington: ‘My Dad’s Name Is Miguel. He Adopted Me When I Was 4’

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is set to testify Wednesday before a House antitrust panel along with the chiefs of Apple, Facebook and Google.

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Bigger And Brawnier: Clout Of Amazon And CEO Jeff Bezos Under Scrutiny

I took these lessons to heart as a teenager, and became a garage inventor. I invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker out of an umbrella and tinfoil, and alarms made from baking pans to entrap my siblings.

The concept for Amazon came to me in 1994. The idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles—something that simply couldn’t exist in the physical world—was exciting to me. At the time, I was working at an investment firm in New York City. When I told my boss I was leaving, he took me on a long walk in Central Park. After a lot of listening, he finally said, «You know what, Jeff, I think this is a good idea, but it would be a better idea for somebody who didn’t already have a good job.» He convinced me to think about it for two days before making a final decision. It was a decision I made with my heart and not my head. When I’m 80 and reflecting back, I want to have minimized the number of regrets that I have in my life. And most of our regrets are acts of omission—the things we didn’t try, the paths untraveled. Those are the things that haunt us. And I decided that if I didn’t at least give it my best shot, I was going to regret not trying to participate in this thing called the internet that I thought was going to be a big deal.

The initial start-up capital for came primarily from my parents, who invested a large fraction of their life savings in something they didn’t understand. They weren’t making a bet on Amazon or the concept of a bookstore on the internet. They were making a bet on their son. I told them that I thought there was a 70% chance they would lose their investment, and they did it anyway. …

Read Jeff Bezos’ written testimony in full.

Read Apple CEO Tim Cook’s written testimony.

Read Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s written testimony.

Read Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s s written testimony.

Editor’s note: Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are among NPR’s financial supporters.

  • Jeff Bezos
  • Amazon

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