Foust: This is a tremendous long-term vision. How do you stay focused on that when there’s all the day-to-day distractions? When have an e-commerce company?
Bezos: Which also, by the way, is the business model for Blue Origin right now, so it’s very important. Every time you buy shoes, you’re helping fund Blue Origin, so thank you. I appreciate it very much.
It’s actually not hard. Vision is absolutely important, but it doesn’t deserve your day-to-day attention. You need a vision, then, that’s a touchstone: It’s something you can always come back to if you ever get confused. But mostly, your time should be spent on things that are happening today, this year, maybe in the next 2 or 3 years.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to focus on things that are too far — you might have with a few things that are 5 to 7 years out. I try to organize my personal time so that I live mostly about 2 to 3 years out.
We’ll announce our Amazon quarterly results, and [people will say], “Great quarter, congratulations!” And then I say, “Thank you.” But what I really think about is [how] that quarter was kind of baked and done 2 or 3 years ago, and right now the senior executives at Amazon are working on a quarter that’s going to happen in 2021, 2022 — that kind of thing.
So I would always encourage people to hold, powerfully, a vision and be so stubborn of it. Don’t let anybody move you off of your vision. But put the vast majority of your energy and attention on things that are in a kind of 2- to 3-year timeframe. Then the sub-division will be a kind of emotional guide to that — the gut intuition guide — to those more near-term activities.
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