Since Jeff Bezos has built Amazon up from an online book retailer in the late 90s to the behemoth it is today, he probably knows a few things about taking calculated gambles.
"If you're going to take bold bets, they are going to be experiements and if they're experiments you don't know ahead of time if they're going to work," the Amazon CEO told Business Insider in a recent interview.
Bezos went on to explain that he would never have an all-or-nothing play to make a particular product or service the saviour of the business: "I don't believe in 'bet the company' bets. That's when you're desperate. That's the last thing you can do," he states at the end of the interview.
Steve Ballmer famously referred to Windows 8 as a 'bet the company' moment for Microsoft when it was released in 2012. The revamped OS was Microsoft's gamble to stake a claim in the mobile market dominated by Apple and Google. One look at the customer feedback for Windows 8 shows that many weren't convinced by Ballmer's bet.
Fire's not out
Is Bezos having a dig at the original tech giant? It seems that way if you read between the lines. But Amazon hasn't had 2014 all its own way, especially given the spectacular flop of the Amazon Fire Phone.
The Amazon boss explains in the interview that his job was to run the company in such a way that the successes could pay for the failures. He argued products like the Kindle ereaders and Amazon Prime subscription service have covered bombs such as the ill-advised pets.com.
Although Bezos doesn't specifically mention the Amazon Fire Phone, the writing's on the wall. The handset was the company's first smartphone venture and, although it didn't go down well, Bezos hasn't faltered. He's previously stated that there will be more Amazon Fire phones on the way.
- However, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is really rather good.
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