The Formula Jeff Bezos Uses to Identify Great Ideas


The Amazon founder revealed his thought process in a recent interview.


2 min read


Jeff Bezos is currently the richest person on earth. And just this week, Amazon was valued at $1 trillion. It’s clear Bezos didn’t get to this point in his career without having a certain skill for identifying and cultivating ideas that change the game.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Bezos laid out the thought process he goes through when deciding when to move forward with a new initiative.

Related: A $150 Billion Net Worth Makes Jeff Bezos the Richest Person on Earth and 27 Other Crazy Things We’ve Learned About the Amazon Founder

“We have to have a differentiated idea. It can’t be a ‘me too’ offering,” he explained. “We’re gifted with some very large businesses we’ve built over time, and we can’t afford to put our energies into something that if it works, it’s still going to be small. … Even at substantial scale, it has to have good returns on capital.”

Then, Bezos added, once you do have a success, don’t rest on your laurels. “Friends congratulate me after a quarterly-earnings announcement and say, ‘Good job, great quarter,’” Bezos said, “and I’ll say, ‘Thank you, but that quarter was baked three years ago.’ I’m working on a quarter that’ll happen in 2021 right now.”



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