“I was working in a financial company in New York with a group of very smart people and I had a brilliant boss who I admired a lot. I went to my boss and told him that I was going to start a business selling books on the internet. He took me for a long walk in Central Park, listened to me carefully, and finally said that it sounded like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn’t have not a good job already.- Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos used a regret minimization model for his decision to quit a high-paying job and start an online bookstore in 1994 that he would originally name Cadabra, then later change it to Amazon.
Mental models are used as frameworks and filters to think about the world and make good, principled decisions. Mental models increase your likelihood of success based on how you think and make decisions based on sound principles.
After thinking about quitting his job and getting anxious about taking the risk and taking the leap as an entrepreneur, he used a simple heuristic to achieve his entrepreneurial dream. The regret minimization mental model helped turn a complex and difficult decision into a simple one.
The main question when creating a regret minimization framework is to ask yourself, “X years from now, will I regret not doing this?”
This mental model asks you to imagine your future self and then look at the decision from that future perspective. What you get Good or bad results, did you regret having made this decision? The answer to this question must be either Yes or no. Either you think you’ll have regrets or you won’t. You need to imagine both the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario that could occur to create a risk/reward ratio to see if the risk of loss is worth the potential gain. You need to be comfortable when the two potential outcomes start and have no regrets either way.
Jeff Bezos believed that at the age of 80 he would regret not having started an Internet bookstore in 1994. His analysis seems to have been correct because he was the richest person in the world at his peak, unlike remaining to his excellent work and wonder what could have been.
“I knew at 80 I wasn’t going to regret trying this. I wasn’t going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the internet which I thought was going to be very important. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret it, but I knew the only thing I could regret was never trying.- Jeff Bezos
With this mental model, you can make decisions based on the future, not the present. It shifts your decision-making process toward possibilities and goals and away from current reality by broadening your perspective with a broader temporal context.
The key question is whether you will have more regrets for trying and failing or more regrets for never trying at all.
Jeff Bezos said in a 2000 interview, “I thought there was a 30% chance we could build a successful business.” Bezos was realistic about the chances of success and understood the potential for failure, but went for it anyway.
“You can have a job or you can have a career or you can have a calling, and if you can somehow figure out how to have a calling, you’ve hit the jackpot because that’s the big one. problem.” -Jeff Bezos
Here’s what an early investor Bezos approached had to say about Amazon’s pitch:
“I met Jeff Bezos 25 years ago, and he was like, ‘Dave, I want you to invest in my business. [Dave replied] “What are you doing?” [Bezos replied] “I’m going to open a bookstore in my garage. Alright, I’m going to put it online, people are buying online, and I’m going to ship from my garage. But if you invest in me Dave, one day I’ll be the richest man in the world. I will make over 100 billion dollars.
Dave thought the idea was crazy:
“First of all, a hundred billion dollars didn’t exist 25 years ago. Statistically, there is no such thing. Countries didn’t have a hundred, our national debt wasn’t a hundred billion dollars and this guy tells me at 26 that he’s going to be the richest man in the world because he has a garage and internet was his truth. Now he didn’t know it and neither did I, but the difference between him and me was that I was laughing and laughing at him and making fun of him and he was already congratulating himself for doing it the right way at the right time: “I’m going to do as much as I can as quickly as possible,” and I’m sitting there saying there’s no way it’s going to be a big deal. 
How Jeff Bezos started Amazon
Jeff Bezos helped create a technically sophisticated and successful quantitative hedge fund on Wall Street for DE Shaw & Co., and became their youngest senior vice president in 1992. 
“I found this fact on a website that the web was growing 2,300% a year,” Bezos told CNBC in a 2001 interview. “The idea that kind of fascinated me was this idea of create an online bookstore.”
Jeff Bezos quit his job as an investment banker in 1994 and moved from New York to Seattle, Washington to open his online bookstore on the Internet, as it was just beginning to gain popularity. . He started out working in his garage with just a few employees. Bezos developed the software for the website, which would later be called Amazon.com.
Jeff Bezos said that in the early days of Amazon, when he started out in his garage, he picked up packages that needed to be mailed to his customers and loaded them into his own personal car, then drove them himself to the office. job.
Bezos quickly evolved Amazon from an online bookstore in his garage to a warehouse and grew from there to become the most successful e-commerce site in the world, emerging from the dotcom bubble as the biggest success story. of the next 20 years.
“Do something you’re passionate about and don’t try to chase what’s the kind of burning passion of the day.” -Jeff Bezos
How did Jeff Bezos get rich?
Jeff Bezos’ wealth was built from the value of his personal Amazon stock holdings. Amazon’s stock price has seen an incredible rise over the past 20 years, and his continued ownership of the majority of his original stock is what made Jeff Bezos so rich. Bezos still owns more than 10% of Amazon, which is worth around $90 billion. 
Jeff Bezos’ path to becoming a billionaire was the same as the majority of the world’s richest people to get there in a generation. Bezos has built an innovative business by creating an ecosystem for selling books on the internet. He then took it public through an initial public offering of shares. Finally, he went on to hold a large initial stake and made the company one of the largest corporations in the history of the world. It is also an example of the power of owning shares in a publicly traded company, as the leverage it gives an investor to build wealth can make you a millionaire or a billionaire. Every investor who bought and held 500 shares of Amazon became a millionaire because the stock surpassed $2,000 per share before the 20-for-1 stock split on June 6, 2022.
Current net worth of Jeff Bezos in 2022
Jeff Bezos’ current net worth in 2022 is $117.50 billion making him the 4th richest person in the world according to Forbes.
“It really was a tough choice but in the end I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn’t think I would regret trying and failing and I suspected I would always be haunted by the decision not to try dumb. After careful consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion and I’m proud of that choice – Jeff Bezos
Image created by Holly Burns
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