Jeff Bezos, inheritor to Steve Jobs’ crown?

Jeff Bezos announced a whole slew of Kindle devices and launched the new Kindle Fire tablets. And if you believe all the Twitter chatter, then he did it in a Steve Jobs style presentation. Of course, I wasn’t in Los Angeles and there wasn’t a video stream, but it is not hard to imagine. The company has done what no other company apart from Apple does: have a singular voice, a singular pitch man, simple product line-up, release/shipping time table and products priced to move. Like John Gruber, I am impressed. Compare this to the shit-show that was the Nokia Lumia device launch from yesterday.

I have been impressed with the post-2001 Amazon. Yes they have not made a lot of money (aka profits) and yes that their stock flies higher than a helium balloon, but I cannot ignore the fact that Bezos and his boys are willing to push the envelope. Today applaud is ironic, for I am just surprised why it has taken people so long to realize that after Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Jeff is the next real technology icon. (I said so back in 2008.) In my books, Bezos wins because he has built a company that is a good proxy on technology trends. We will be watching these guys for a long time. Now all Jeff has to do is deliver Jobs level of profits.


  1. Daniel Ladik (@DanoLadik) says:

    September 13th, 2012 at 5:45 pm Reply

    Why does everyone want to find the “next” Steve Jobs? That’s not very interesting. Sequels are never as good as the original. There are many interesting leaders in tech today including Bezos and Dorsey. There was no “next” Andy Grove, right?

    1. Om Malik says:

      September 14th, 2012 at 10:09 am Reply


      My piece (original from about 4 years ago) was about the next big technology icon who galvanizes interest and thought. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs represented their generation well. Bezos is a logical representative of this new post INternet tech generation. Who will be next? That remains to be seen.

  2. Matthew Miller (@amazonmatt) says:

    September 12th, 2012 at 9:13 am Reply

    “I’m unsure what Bezos’s greatest invention will be.” Me, too. Amazon Prime has completed revolutionized retail (multiplying what Apple did with iTunes). And as a research geneticist in a federal lab I can tell you that the entire genomics revolution of the last few years is being entirely processed and archived in Amazon’s cloud computing services. So, yeah…what Amazon’s greatest contribution to our way of life is a tough call…

  3. townsendharris says:

    September 12th, 2012 at 6:29 am Reply

    Jobs’s greatest invention is, of course, Apple, the invention machine that makes hardware and software people love to use. Jobs loved that machine that makes bucket loads of money.
    I’m unsure what Bezos’s greatest invention will be. Destroying middlemen? Exercising his options in the money?

  4. minicapt says:

    September 12th, 2012 at 4:07 am Reply

    Nope; Steve was interested in selling Apple products around the world, and the Company has worked very hard to gain entry into a variety of markets for Hardware, Software, and ancillary products such as music, video and books. Amazon has problems selling more than its basic catalog of books, CDs and DVDs into a next door market such as Canada; note that the Kindle Fire is US-only …


  5. okungnyo says:

    September 11th, 2012 at 9:05 pm Reply

    Absolute hogwash. Amazon would be NOWHERE if it weren’t for Google and AOSP. Instead of kissing Google’s ass, Mr. Bezos proceeds to make a deal with Microsoft for search and Nokia for maps. He has absolutely no shame and it’s disgusting. If I meet him in real life I will not hesitate to spit on his face.

  6. //jeffreyfshetlerjr. (@jshetler) says:

    September 7th, 2012 at 6:07 pm Reply

    Jack Dorsey is the next Jobs, no question.

  7. aseemjuneja says:

    September 7th, 2012 at 5:56 am Reply

    Apple’s success is dependent on products and it will need to bring newer and better every now and then to maintain market share. Amazon sells pretty much everything under the sun and Kindle is a way to sell more if it, easily. Apple and Amazon are trying to sell more content but Amazon already sells everything else.
    Different categories, both legends.

  8. Jeff Putz says:

    September 6th, 2012 at 8:40 pm Reply

    Right on. The Nokia thing was a total disaster without pricing and availability. I’ve been a huge fan of Windows Phone from the start two years ago, and I can’t understand how they keep screwing up product launches where Microsoft is concerned. Ditto for Surface.

  9. Saikat Ghosh (@techlibido) says:

    September 6th, 2012 at 6:10 pm Reply

    Jobs could walk into a category and dramatically reimagine it. Bezos is still copying. Presentations are important but secondary.

    1. Om Malik says:

      September 6th, 2012 at 6:42 pm Reply

      Well I would disagree with you on AWS. And like iPod, Amazon did in fact re-imagined the e-reader and made it work for many of us.

  10. Andre Bartholomeu Fernandes says:

    September 6th, 2012 at 4:35 pm Reply

    Yes, I agree with you, Om. Although I feel that Steve was more “idealistic and enlightened” and Bezos is much more “finance centered”. This makes Steve a different kind of tech icon. The feel I have is that Steve was passion driven and Bezos is only money driven, from the very beginning.

    I love Steve but something keeps me from loving Bezos.

  11. Bharat Maheshwari says:

    September 6th, 2012 at 4:02 pm Reply

    You are right on Om, like most of the times

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