On Friday,Jeff Bezos Amazon founder once again became the richest person in the world after overtoken Bill Gate, after his company announced their third quarter earnings for 2017. It meant the 53 year-old entrepreneur overtook Bill Gates on the rich list, with an estimated fortune of $90.6 billion.
But it turns out becoming minted wasn’t the Amazon CEO’s main reason for starting the online retailer. Rather, he started it because of what’s commonly referred to as ‘FOMO’, or the fear of missing out.
In an interview this month at Summit LA17, an ‘ideas festival’ in Los Angeles, Bezos – who also owns The Washington Post and an aerospace company called Blue Origin – explained that he simply didn’t want to miss out on the possibilities of the world wide web.
He also reiterated what he said in an oft-quoted interview from a few years ago.
“I knew that when I was 80, I was not going to regret having tried this,” he said. “I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that.
“But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day.”
It’s all part of what Bezos calls the ‘regret minimisation framework’, which is a fancy way of saying that we only have a limited time on this planet and it’s better to take risks while we’re alive, so we don’t regret not taking them when it’s too late. Basically, he became an entrepreneur thanks to FOMO and now he’s reinvented YOLO as a business philosophy.
At Summit LA17, Bezos also said something about how he believes everyone has two options for creating their ‘life story’: to go for a life of ‘ease and comfort’, or one of ‘service and adventure’.
Bezos reckons he’s someone who opted for the latter and, to be fair on him, it definitely worked out – according to Oxfam he’s predicted to become the world’s first trillionaire in the next 25 years.
CNBC has also reported that before that he’ll become the world’s first ’12-digit man’ worth a staggering $100 billion. An amount so big I can’t even begin to fathom it.
Of course, it’s not all about money, and making truckloads of it probably shouldn’t be the main motivation for anything, but it’s hard to deny that Bezos has done himself proud.