Bezos: We need to experiment

Jeffery Bezos

The Washington Post has just been sent on an Amazon cruise and only one thing is for certain–the capitol city’s go-to print paper will never be the same again.

It was announced today that Jeff Bezos dug $250 million out of his couch cushions and bought either a rusted relic, the greatest grab since The Blair Witch Project or, more likely, something in between.

What really interests me is this quote from Bezos’s open letter to his new employees at The Post.

“We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there. I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention.”

As always, Bezos is vocal about putting the customer experience first. This is why so many of us–myself included–would rather have have my books delivered by his company than anywhere else.

But I’m more interested in his calls for experimentation. Amazon wasn’t built in a day. Bezos and his team built the brand by constantly testing and tweaking every aspect of the company’s interface with customers.

We should applaud the courage and willingness to risk reinventing what is practically a national institution. Bezos and Co. will not only shake up the Post, but the incessantly perilous world of print journalism.

But the celebration should end here. Now that the ink is dry, Bezos is in the same boat as any other experimenter and I wish him only the best of luck.

Fortuna Favet Fortibus