Why Jeff Bezos Likes Wandering

This weekend, I listened to an interview that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and Blue Origin, recently gave. I haven’t found many long-form Bezos interviews, so I was interested in hearing what he had to say in this one, which lasted over two hours.

Bezos discussed many topics, but one thing he mentioned multiple times stuck out to me. Bezos is a big fan of wandering.

His thinking is that solving a problem by inventing a new solution means you don’t know where you’re going. New solutions are different than incremental improvement, and there is no linear path to new solutions like there is to incremental improvements. The solution isn’t clear, and you’re working to find it through all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. The process is often seems inefficient, but that’s how new solutions are invented.  

Bezos went on to say that he likes messy meetings accompanied by a crisp document outlining the problem to solve because messy meetings allow for the wandering that results in the invention of new solutions.

Bezos also shared a fun fact: when he wakes up in the morning, he isn’t as productive as people think. He first wanders a bit by drinking coffee, talking with others, reading the news, etc.

The interview with Bezos was interesting, and I had a few great takeaways. If you’d like to watch the full interview, go here. For his thoughts on wandering, go here, here, and here.