‘Washington Post’ owner boldly goes where no internet retailer has gone before
Amazon founder and ‘Star Trek’ fan Jeff Bezos is a man of contradictions
More interesting is what my scoop suggests about the Bezos household. The Amazon boss has recently been crowned by Fortune “The Ultimate Disrupter”. He has disrupted more industries than anyone else alive, from bookselling and publishing to music to every sort of retail, to tablet manufacture and database software. But when it comes to marriage, not only has he not disrupted anything, he seems to have reverted to a model barely seen since the 1950s, when wives packed husbands’ luggage. Mackenzie Bezos, a banker turned novelist, not only seems to mollycoddle him in a sweetly anachronistic way, but does not trust him to carry out the most basic functions.
At first I thought this a bad sign: if Mr Bezos can’t remember his pills, what hope is there of him remembering anything? But actually Amazon is all about finding the right system. The sock thing might sound a strange system to me – not least because it creates a new risk of crushing vitamin pills between your toes – but it appears to work. He took the tablets right under my nose.
As a control, I’ve tried to find out if the wife of Sergey Brin – the dotcom superstar who last week decided to invest his small change in futuristic burgers – also puts vitamins in her husband’s socks. It appears she does not. Instead Anne Wojcicki has her own start-up, wears a hoodie and recently told Inc magazine that she likes to begin every day by putting both her children – who were then aged three and seven months – into a backpack and carrying them both to a cafe to get on with her work.
She may be living up to the stereotype, but all that lugging, especially by one of the richest women in the world, strikes me as almost as batty as vitamins in socks.
A laboured joke
I’m still here. Some readers may be surprised to find me still employed. Last week, I said at the start of this column that my job had expired, causing all sorts of people to write in to say goodbye. Had they read on, they would have seen it was part of a laboured joke: I’m still here.
But I’ve learnt two things about journalism that I really ought to have worked out by now. First, complicated jokes are best avoided and second, even though you must try your hardest to get people to read on, you must never assume you’ll succeed.
– (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)