Jeff Bezos: Amazon and Blue Origin | Lex Fridman Podcast #405

The following is a conversation with Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon and blue Origin this is his first time doing a Conversation of this kind and of this Length and as he told me it felt like we Could have easily talked for many more Hours and I'm sure we will this is the Le stre podcast and now dear friends Here's Jeff Bezos you spent a lot of your childhood With your grandfather on a ranch here in Texas mhm and I heard you had a a lot of Work to do around the ranch so what's The coolest job you remember doing there Wow coolest um most interesting most Memorable most memorable it was a it was Real it's a real working Ranch um my and I I spent all my Summers on that ranch From Age 4 to 16 and my grandfather was Really taking me those in the summers in The in the early Summers he was letting Me pretend to help on the ranch cuz of Course a four-year-old is a burden not a Help in real life he really just Watching me and taking care of me um and He was doing that because my mom was so Young she had me when she was 17 and so He was sort of giving her a break and my Grandmother and my grandfather would Take me for these Summers but as I got a Little older I actually was helpful on The ranch and I loved it I was out there Like my grandfather had a huge influence On me huge factor in my life I did all

The jobs you would do on a ranch I've Fixed when Mills and laid fences and Pipelines and you know done all the Things that any Rancher would do Vaccinated the animals everything um uh But we had a you know my grandfather After my grandmother died um I was about 12 and I kept coming to the ranch so it Was then it was just him and me just the Two of us and he was completely addicted To the soap opera the days of our lives And we would go back to the ranch house Every day around 1 p.m. or so to watch Days of Our Lives uh like Sands through An hourglass so are the days of our Lives just the image of that the two Sitting there watching slow popper had Big crazy dogs it was really a very Formative experience me but the key Thing about it for me the the great gift I got from it was that my grandfather Was so resourceful you know he did Everything himself he made his own Veterinary tools he would make needles To suit the cattle up with like he would Find a little piece of wire and heat it Up and pound it thin and drill a hole in It and sharpen it so you know you learn Different things um on a ranch than you Would learn you know growing up in a City so self-reliance yeah like figuring Out that you can solve problems with Enough persistence and Ingenuity and my Grandfather bought a D6 bulldozzer which

Is a big bulldozer and you got it for Like $5,000 cuz it was completely broken Broken down it was like a 1955 caterpillar D6 bulldozer knew it Would have cost I don't know more than $100,000 and we spent an entire summer Fixing like repairing that bulldozzer We'd you know use mail order to to buy Big gears for the transmission and They'd show up they'd be too heavy to Move so we'd have to build a crane you Know just that kind of kind of that Problem solving mentality um he had it So powerfully you know he He did all of his own uh he just he Didn't pick up the phone and call Somebody he would figure it out on his Own he doing his own Veterinary work you Know but just the image of the two you Fixing a D6 bulldozzer and then going in For a little break at 1 p.m. to watch so Laying on the floor that's how he Watched TV he was a really really Remarkable guy that's how I imagine Clint Eastwood Also in all those westerns when he's When he's not doing what he's doing he's Just just watching soap poers all right Uh I read that you fell in love with the Idea of space and space exploration when You were five watching Neil Armstrong Walking on the moon so let me uh ask you To look back at the historical context And impact of that so the space race

From 1957 to 1969 between the Soviet Union and the US Was in many ways epic it was um a rapid Sequence of dramatic events for Satellite to space first human to space First space walk first un crude landing On the moon then some failures Explosions deaths on both sides actually And then the first human walking on the Moon uh what are some of the more Inspiring moments or insights you take Away from that time those few years that Just uh 12 years well I mean there's so Much inspiring there um you know one of The great things to take away from that One of the great Von Brown quotes is I Have have uh I have come to use the word Impossible with great Caution yeah yeah and so that's kind of The big story of Apollo is that things You know the uh going to the moon was Literally an analogy that people used For something that's impossible you know Oh yeah you'll do that when when you Know men walk on the Moon Yeah and of Course it finally happened um so you Know I think it was pulled forward in Time because of the Space Race I think You know with the geopolitical Implications and you know how much Resource was put into it you know at the Peak that program was spending you know Two or 3% of GDP uh on the Apollo program so much

Resource I think it was pulled forward In time you know we kind of did it ahead Of when we quote unquote should have Done it yeah um and so in that way it's Also a technical Marvel I mean it's Truly incredible it's uh you know it's The 20th century version of building the Pyramids or something it's you know it's An achievement that um because it was Pulled forward in time and because it Did something that had previously been Thought impossible it rightly deserves Its place as you know in the pantheon of Great human achievements and of course You named uh the projects the rockets That blue origin is working on after Some of the folks involved I don't Understand why I didn't say new gagaran I is that there an American bias in the Naming I ologe very Strange just asking for a friend clarify I'm a big fan of garens though and fact I um I think his his first words in Space um I think are incredible he you Know he purportedly said my God it's Blue and that really drives home no one Had seen the Earth from space no one Knew that we were on this blue planet Yeah no one knew what it looked like From out there and gagaran was the first Person to see it one of the things I Think about is how Dangerous those early days were for Gagaran for for Glenn for everybody

Involved like how how big of a risk they Were all taking they were taking huge Risks I'm not sure what the uh Soviets Thought about gagarin's flight but I Think that the Americans thought that The Allen Shepard flight the flight that You know new Shephard is named after the First American in space he went on his Suborbital flight they thought he had About a 75% chance of Success um so you know that's a pretty Big risk a 25% risk it's it's kind of Interesting that Alan Shepard is not Quite as famous as John Glenn so for People don't know Alan Shepard is the First uh astronaut the first American in Space American in suborbital Flight Correct and and then the first orbital Flight is then John Glenn is the first American to orbit the Earth by the way I Have the most Charming sweet incredible Letter from John Glenn which I have Framed and hanging on my office wall What he say where he tells me how uh Grateful he is that we have named new Glenn after him and they sent me that Letter about a week before he died um And it's really an incredible it's also A very funny letter he's he's writing And he says you know this is a letter About new Glenn from the original Glenn And he's just he's got a great sense of Humor and he's very he's very um happy About it and grateful it's very sweet

Does he say PS don't mess this up or is That no he doesn't make me look good he Doesn't do that but wa but John wherever You are we got you covered good uh so so Back to maybe the big picture of space When you look up at the Stars uh and think big what do you hope Is the future of humanity hundreds Thousands of years from now out in Space I would love to see you know a you Know a trillion humans living in the Solar system if we had a trillion humans We would have at any given time a Thousand mozarts and a thousand Einstein um that would you know our Solar system would be full of life and Intelligence and energy um and we can Easily support a civilization that large With all of the resources um in the Solar system so what do you think that Looks like giant space stations yeah the Only way to get to that vision is with Giant space stations you know the Planetary surfaces are just way too Small um so you can I mean unless you Turn them into giant space stations or Something but but yeah we will take Materials from the Moon and from near Earth objects and from the asteroid belt And so on and we'll build uh giant O'Neal style colonies um and people will Live in those and they have a lot of Advantages over planetary surfaces you Can spin them to get normal Earth

Gravity you can put them where you want Them I think most people are going to Want to live uh near Earth not Necessarily in Earth orbit but in you Know uh Earth but near Earth vicinity uh Orbits and so they can move Qui you know Relatively quickly uh back and forth Between their station and Earth so I Don't I think a lot of people especially In the early stages are not going to Want to give up Earth altogether they go To Earth for vacation yeah same way that You know you might go to to Yellowstone National Park for vacation people will Uh and the ad and no one and people will Get to choose whether they live on earth Or whether they live in space but They'll be able to use much more energy And much more material resource in space Than they would be able to use on Earth One of the interesting ideas you had is To move the heavy industry away from Earth so people sometimes have this idea That somehow space Exploration is in conflict with the Celebration of the planet Earth that we Should focus on preserving Earth and and Basically your idea is that space travel And space exploration is a way to Preserve Earth exactly this planet we've Sent robotic probes to all the planets We know that this is the good One yeah not the play favorites or Anything but but Earth really is the

Good Planet it's an amaz it's it's Amazing the ecosystem we have here all Of the life and the Lush uh the plant Life and you know the water resources Everything this planet is really Extraordinary and of course we evolved On this planet so of course it's perfect For us but it's also perfect for all the Advanced life forms on this planet all The animals and so on and so this is a Gym we do need to take care of it and as We enter the anthropos as we get as we Humans have gotten so uh sophisticated And large and impactful as we stride Across this planet you know it's That that is going to as we continue we Want to use a lot of energy we want to Use a lot of energy per capita we've Gotten amazing things we we don't want To go backwards you know if you think About Um the good old days they're mostly an Illusion like in almost every way life Is better for almost everyone today than It was say 50 years ago or 100 years we All we live better lives by and large Than our grandparents did and then their Grandparents did and so on and you can See that in global illiteracy rates Global poverty rates Global infant Mortality rates like almost any metric You choose we're better off than we used To be and we get you know antibiotics And all kinds of life-saving medical

Care and so on and so on and there's one Thing that is moving backwards and it's The natural world so it is a fact that 500 years ago pre-industrial age The natural world was Pristine um it was incredible and we Have traded some of that pristine Beauty For all of these other gifts that we Have as an advanced society and we can Have both but to do that we have to go To space and all of this really the most Fundamental measure is energy usage per Capita and when you look at you know you Do want to continue to use more and more Energy it is going to make your life Better in so many ways but that's not Compatible ultimately with living on a Finite planet and so we have to go out Into the solar system uh and and really You can argue about when you have to do That but you can't credibly argue about Whether you have to do that eventually We have to do that exactly well you Don't often talk about it but let me ask You on that topic about the blue ring And the orbital Reef uh space Infrastructure projects what's your Vision for these so blue ring is a very Interesting spacecraft that is uh Designed to take up to 3,000 kilograms Of payload up to geosynchronous orbit or In lunar vicinity uh it has two Different kinds of Propulsion it has chemical propulsion

And it has electric propulsion and so it Can you can be you can use blue ring in A couple different ways you can slowly Move let's say up to geosynchronous Orbit using electric propulsion that Might take you know 100 days or 150 days Depending on how much mass you're Carrying uh and then and reserve your Chemical propulsion so that you can Change orbits quickly in geosynchronous Orbit or you can use the chemical Propulsion first to quickly get up to Geosynchronous and then use your Electrical propulsion to slowly change Your ju synchronous orbit blue ring has Um a couple of interesting features it's A uh it provides a lot of services to These payloads so the payLo could be one Large payload or it can be a number of Small payloads and it provides thermal Management it provides electric power it Provides uh compute um provides Communications and so when you design a Payload for blue ring you don't have It's you don't have to figure out all of Those things on your own so kind of radi Tolerant compute is a complicated thing To do and so we have a an unusually Large amount of radiation tolerant Compute on board blue ring and you can Your payload can just use that when it Needs to so it's a uh uh it's sort of All these Services it's you know it's It's like a set of apis it's a little

Bit like Amazon web services but for Face payloads that need to move about in Earth vicinity or lunar vicinity uh a WSS space okay so uh so Compu in space So you get you get a giant chemical Rocket to get a payload out to and then You have these admins that show up this Blue ring uh thing that manages various Things like compute exactly and it can It can also provide transportation and Move you around to different orbits Including humans you think no but blue Ring is not designed to move humans Around um it's designed to move payloads Around so we're also building a lunar Lander uh which is of course designed to To land humans on the surface of the Moon I'm going to ask you about that Well let me let me actually just uh step Back to the old days you were at Princeton uh with aspirations to be a Theoretical physicist yeah um What Attracted you to physics and why did you Change your mind and not become why why You're not Jeff bezos's the famous Theoretical physicist so I loved physics And I studied physics and computer Science and I was proceeding along uh Along the physics path I was planning to Major in physics and I wanted to be a Theoretical physicist and I and the Computer science was sort of something I Was doing for fun I really loved It um and I and I was very good at the

The programming and doing those things And I enjoyed all my computer science Classes Immensely but I really was determined to Be a theoretical physicist I it's why I Went to Princeton in the first place it Was definitely and then I realized I was Going to be a mediocre theoretical Physicist and there were um uh there Were a few people in my classes like in Quantum mechanics and so on who they Could effortlessly do things that were So difficult for me and I realized like You know there are a thousand ways to be Smart and to be a really you know Theoretical physics is not one of those Fields where the uh you know only the Top few percent actually move the State Ofthe art forward it's one of those Things where you you have to be really Uh just your brain has to be wired in a Certain way and there was a guy named um One of these people who was uh convinced Me he didn't mean to convince me but Just by observing him he convinced me That I should not try to be a Theoretical physicist his name was Yos Santa and Yos Santa um was from Sri Lanka and he's he Was one of the most brilliant people I'd Ever met my uh friend Joe and I were Working on a very difficult partial Differential equations problem set one Night and there was one problem that we

Worked on for three hours MH and we made No Headway what soever and we looked up At each other at the same time and we Said Yos Santa so we went to Yos Santa's Dorm room yeah and he was there he was Almost always there and we said y Santo We're having trouble solving this Uh partial differential equation would You mind taking a look and he said of Course by the way he was the most humble Most kind person and so he took our he Looked at our problem and he stared at It for just a few seconds maybe 10 Seconds and he said coine and I said What do you mean yant what do you mean Cosine he said that's the answer and I Said no no no come on and he said let me Show you and he took out some paper and He wrote down three pages of equations Everything came cancelled out M and the Answer was cosine and I said y Santa did You do that in your head and he said oh No that would be impossible a few years Ago I solved a similar problem and I Could map this problem onto that problem And then it was immediately obvious that The answer was cosine I had a few you Know you have an experience like that You realize maybe being a theoretical Physicist isn't your isn't what your Your your what the universe wants you to Be and so I switched to computer science And um and you know that worked out Really well for me I enjoy I still enjoy

It today yeah there's a particular kind Of intuition you need to be a great Physicist in applied to physics I think The mathematical skill required today is So high you have to be a worldclass Mathematician to be a successful Theoretical physicist today and it's not You know it uh probably need other Skills too intuition lateral thinking And so on but without the without just Topnotch math skills you're unlikely to Be successful and visualization skill You have to be able to really kind of do These kinds of thought experiments and If you wanted truly great creativity Actually Walter Ison writes about you uh It puts you on the same level as Einstein well he's that's very kind I Have I'm an inventor if you if you want To boil down what I am I'm really an Inventor and I look at things and I can Come up with atypical Solutions and you Know and then I can create a hundred Such atypical solutions for something 99 Of them may not survive you know Scrutiny but one of those 100 is like hm Maybe there is maybe that might work and Then you can keep going from there so That kind of lateral thinking that kind Of uh inventiveness in a high Dimensionality space where the search Space is very large that's where my Inventive skills come that's the thing I'm if if I I self-identify as an

Inventor more than anything else yeah And he describes in all kinds of Different ways Walter Ison does that uh Creativity combined with childlike uh Wander that you've maintained still to This day all of that combined together Is there like if if you were to study Your own brain introspect how do you Think what's your thinking process like We'll talk about the writing process of Putting it down on paper uh which is Quite rigorous and Famous at uh Amazon but how do you when You sit down maybe alone maybe with Others and thinking through this High Dimensional space and looking for Creative Solutions a creative paths Forward is there something you can say About that process it's such a good Question and and I honestly don't know How it works if I did I would try to Explain it I know it involves lots of Wandering yeah so I you know when I sit Down to work on a problem I know I don't Know where I'm going so to to go in a Straight line to be efficient efficiency And invention are sort of at odds Because invention real invention not Incremental Improvement incremental Improvement is so important in in every Endeavor everything you do you have to Work hard on also just making things a Little bit better but I'm talking about Real invention real lateral thinking

That requires wandering and you have to Give yourself permission to wander I Think a lot of People Um they feel like wandering is Inefficient and should you know like When when I sit down at a meeting I Don't know how long the meeting is going To take if we're trying to solve a Problem because if I did then I'd Already I i' know there's some kind of Straight line that we're drawing to the Solution the reality is we may have to Wander for a long time and I do like Group invention I think there's really Nothing more fun than sitting at a Whiteboard with a a n you know a group Of smart people and spitballing and Coming up with new ideas and objections To those ideas and then solution to the Objections and going back and forth so Like um you know sometimes you wake up With an idea and the middle of the night And sometimes you sit down with a group Of people and go back and forth and both Things are really pleasurable and when You wander I think one key thing is to Notice a good idea and to to to maybe to Notice the kernel of a good idea maybe Pull at that string cuz I don't think uh Good ideas come fully Formed 100% right in fact when I come up With what I think is a good idea and it Survives kind of the first level of

Scrutiny you know that I do in my own Head and I'm ready to tell somebody else About the idea I will often say look it Is going to be really easy for you to Find objections to this idea but work With me there's something there there's Something there and that is intuition Yeah you because it's really easy to Kill new Ideas in the beginning because they do Have so many so many easy objections to Them so you need to uh you need to kind Of forwarn people and say look I know It's going to take a lot of work to get This to a fully formed idea let's get Started on that it'll be fun so you got That ability to say cosign in you Somewhere after All maybe not on math in a different Domain yeah there are a thousand ways to Be smart by the way and that is a really Like when I go around you know and I Meet people I'm always looking for the Way that they're smart and you find it Is that's one of the things that makes The world so interesting and fun is that It is not it's not like IQ is a single y Dimension there are people who are smart And so such unique ways yeah you just Gave me a good response when somebody Calls me an idiot on the internet you Know there's a thousand ways to be smart Sir well they might tell you yeah but There a million to be ways to be done

Yeah right I feel like that's a Mark Twain quote okay all right you gave me An amazing tour of blue origin rocket Factory and launch complex in the Historic Cape Canaveral uh that's where new Glenn the The big rocket we talked about is uh Being built and will launch can you Explain what the new Glenn rocket is and Uh tell me some interesting technical Aspects of how it works sure um uh new Glenn is a uh a very large a heavy lift Launch vehicle it'll take about 45 Metric tons to Leo very uh very large Class um it's about half the thrust a Little more than half the thrust of the Saturn 5 uh Rockets so it's about 3.9 Million pounds of thrust on Liftoff the booster has seven be four Engines the each engine generates a Little more than 550,000 lbs of Thrust the engines are fueled by liquid Natural gas liquefied natural gas LG as The fuel and locks as the Oxidizer the cycle is an oxr stage Combustion cycle it's a cycle that was Really pioneered by the Russians it's a Very good cycle um uh and that engine is Also going to power the first stage of The Vulcan rocket which is the United Launch Alliance rocket um then the Second stage of new Glenn uh is powered By two b3u engines which is a upper Stage variant of our new Shephard liquid

Hydrogen engine so the b3u has 160,000 Lounds of thrust so two of those 320,000 Lounds of thrust and hydrogen is a very Good propellant for upper stages because It has has very high ISP it's not a Great propellent in my view for booster Stages because the stages then get Physically so large hydrogen has very High ISP but liquid hydrogen is uh very Is not dense at all so to store liquid Hydrogen you know if you need to store Many thousands of pounds of liquid Hydrogen your tanks your liquid hydrogen Tank it's very large so uh you really You get more benefit from the higher Isps specific impulse you get more Benefit from the higher specific impulse On the second Stage and that stage carries less Propellant so you don't get such Geometrically gigantic tanks the Delta 4 Is an example of a vehicle that is all Hydrogen the booster stage is also Hydrogen and I think that it's a very Effective vehicle but it never was very Cost effective um so it's operationally Very capable but not very cost effective So size is also costly size is costly so It's interesting Rockets love to be big Everything works better what do you mean By that you've told me that before it Sounds epic but was It I mean when you look at the kind of The physics of Rocket

Engines uh and also when you look at Parasitic Mass it doesn't if you have Let's say you have an avionic system so You have a guidance and control system That is going to be about the same mass And size for a giant rocket as it is Going to be for a tiny rocket and so That's just pardic mass that is very Consequential if you're building a very Small rocket but is Trivial if you're Building a very large rocket so you have The parasitic Mass thing and then if you Look at for example rocket engines have Turbo pumps they have to pressurize the Fuel and the oxidizer up to a very high Pressure level in order to inject it Into to the thrust chamber where it Burns and those pumps all rotating Machines in fact get more efficient as They get larger so really tiny turbo Pumps are very challenging to Manufacturer and any kind of gaps you Know uh are like between the housing for Example and the rotating impeller that Pressurizes the fuel there has to be Some Gap there you can't have those Parts scraping against one another and Those gaps drive Inefficiencies and so you know if you Have a very large turbo pump those gaps And percentage terms end up being very Small and so there's a bunch of things That that you end up loving about having A large rocket and that you end up

Hating for a small rocket but there's a Giant exception to this Rule and it is Manufacturing so manufacturing large Structures is very very challenging it's A pain in the butt and so you know it's Just you know if you have if you're Making a small rocket engine you can Move all the pieces by hand you can Assemble it on a table one person can do It um you know you don't need cranes and Heavy lift operations and tooling and so On and so on when you start building big Objects infrastructure civil Infrastructure just like the launch pad And the you know all this we we went and Visited I took you to the launch pad and You can see it's so Monument mental yeah It um and so just these things become Major uh undertakings both from an Engineering point of view but also from A construction and cost point of view And even the uh the foundation of the Launchpad I mean this is Florida like Isn't it like swamp land like how deep Go you have at Cape Canaveral yeah um in Fact most ocean you know most launchpads Are on beaches somewhere on the oceans Side because you want to launch over Water for safety reasons um the uh yes You have to drive pilings you know Dozens and dozens and dozens of pilings You know 50 100 150 ft deep to get Enough structural Integrity for these Very large you know it's it's uh yes

These turned into major civil Engineering projects I just have to say Everything about that factory is pretty Badass you said tooling the bigger it Gets the more the more epic it is it Does make it epic it's fun to look at It's extraordinary it's humbling also Cuz your humans are so small compared to It we are building these enormous Machines that are harnessing enormous Amounts of uh chemical uh Power um you Know in very very compact packages it's Truly extraordinary but then there's all The different components uh and you you Know the materials involved is there Something interesting that's you can Describe about the Materials uh that comprise the rocket so It has to be as light as possible I Guess whilst withstanding the Heat and The harsh conditions yeah I play a Little kind of game sometimes with other Rocket people that I run into where say What are the things that would Amaze the 1960s Engineers like what what's changed Cuz surprisingly some of Rocket tre's Greatest Hits have not changed they are Still they would recognize immediately a Lot of what we do today and it's exactly What they pioneered back in the 60s but A few things have changed um uh you know The use of carbon composits is is very Different today um you know we can build Very sophisticated you saw our carbon

Tape laying machine that builds the Giant fairings and we can build these Incredibly light very stiff fairing Structures out of carbon composite Material that they could not have Dreamed of I mean the the efficiency the Structural efficiency of that material Is so high compared to any you know Metallic material you might use or Anything else so that's one um uh Aluminum lithium and the ability to Friction stir weld aluminum lithium do You remember the friction stir welding That I showed you this this this is a a Remarkable technology it was invented Decades ago but has become very Practical over the just the last couple Of decades and instead of using heat to Weld two pieces of metal together it Literally stirs the two pieces there's a A pin that rotates at a certain rate and You put that pin between the two plates Of metal that you want to weld together And then you move it at a at a very Precise speed um and instead of heating The material it Heats it a little bit Because of friction but not very much You can literally immediately after After welding with stir friction welding You can touch the material and it's just Barely warm um it's it literally stir The molecules together it's quite Extraordinary relatively low temperature And I guess high temperature is what

Makes them the the that's the we that Makes it a weak point exactly so in with Traditional with traditional welding Techniques you may have whatever the Underlying strength characteristics of The material are you end up with weak Regions where you weld and with Fric and Stir welding the weld are just as strong As the bulk material so it really allows You and so because when you're you know Let's say you're building a tank that You're going to pressurize you know a Large you know liquid natural gas tank For our for our booster stage for Example you know if you are welding that With traditional methods you have to Size those weld lands the thickness of Those pieces with that knockdown for Whatever damage you're doing with the Weld and that's going to add a lot of Weight to that tank I mean even just uh Looking at the fairings the result of That the the complex shape that it takes And yeah and like what it's supposed to Do is is kind of incredible CU so people Don't know it's on top of the rocket It's going to fall apart that's its task But it has to stay strong sometimes yes And then uh disappear when it needs to That's right which is a very difficult Task yes when you need something that Needs to have 100% integrity and tell it Needs to have 0% Integrity it needs to Stay attached until it's ready to go

Away and then when it goes away it has To go away completely you use explosive Charges for that and so it's a very Robust way of separating Structure uh when you need to exploding Yeah a little tiny bits of explosive Material um and uh it just it'll sever The whole connection so if you want to Go from 100% structural Integrity To Zero as fast as possible possible is Explosives use Explosives the entirety of this thing is So badass okay so we're back to the two Stages so the the first stage is Reusable yeah second stage is Expendable Second stage is liquid hydrogen liquid Oxygen so we get take advantage of the Higher specific impulse um the uh the First stage uh lands downrange on a Landing platform in the ocean um comes Back for maintenance and get ready to do The next mission um I mean there's a Million questions but also is there a a Path towards reusability for the second Stage there is and we know how to do That um right now I we're going to work On manufacturing that second stage to Make it as inexpensive as possible sort Of two paths for a second stage make it Reusable um uh or work really hard to Make it inexpensive so you can afford to Expend it and th that trade is Actually not obvious which one is better Even in terms of cost even like time

Even in terms of I'm talking about cost Is you know space flight getting into Orbit is a solved problem we solved it Back in you know the 50s and 60s you're Making it Sol easy the only thing that The only interesting problem is Dramatically reducing the cost of access To Orbit which is if you can do that you Open up a bunch of New uh you know Endeavors that lots of Startup companies everybody else can do So that's we really that's our one of Our missions is to you know be part of This industry and lower the cost to Orbit so that there can be you know a Kind of a Renaissance uh a golden age of People doing all kinds of interesting Things in space I like how you said uh Getting to orbit is a solved problem It's just the only interesting thing is Reducing the C you know you can describe Every single problem facing human Civilization that way way the physicist Would say everything is a solved problem We've solved everything the rest is just Uh what the ruford said that it's just Stamp collecting it's just the detail Some of the greatest Innovations and Inventions and you know Brilliance is uh In that cost reduction stage right and You you've had a long career of cost Reduction for sure and if you know when You what does cost reduction really mean

It means inventing a better way yeah Exactly right and when you invent a Better way you make the whole world Richer so you know whatever it was I Don't know how many thousands of years Ago somebody invented the plow and when They invented the plow they made the Whole world richer because they made Farming less Expensive um and so it it is a big deal To to invent better ways that's how the World gets Richer so uh what are some of the the Biggest challenges on the manufacturing Side on the engineering side that you're Facing in uh working to get uh to the First launch of new Glenn the first Launch is one thing we and we'll do that In 20124 coming up in this coming year The real thing that's the bigger Challenge is making sure that our Factory is efficiently uh uh Manufacturing at rate so rate production So consider if you want to launch new Glenn you know 24 times a year you need To Manufacture a upper stage since they're Expendable uh every you know twice a Month you need to do one every two weeks So you need to be you need to have all Of your manufacturing facilities and Processes and inspection techniques and Acceptance tests and everything Operating at rate and rate manufacturing

Is at least as difficult As designing the vehicle in the first Place and the same thing so every every Uh uh upper stage has two b3u engines so Those engines you know you need if You're going to launch this the vehicle Twice a month you need four engines a Month so you need an engine every week So you need to be that engine needs to Be being produced at rate and and that's A um and there's all the things that you Need to do that all the right Machine Tools all the right fixtures uh the Right people process Etc So it's one thing to build a first Article right so that's you know we to Launch new Glenn for the first time you Need to produce a first article but That's not the hard part the hard part Is everything that's going on behind the Scenes to build a factory that can Produce new glends at rate so the first One is produced in a way that's enables The production of the second third and The fourth and the fifth and sixth you Could think of the first article as kind Of pushing it it pushes all of the rate Manufacturing uh technology along you Know in other words it's kind of the uh You know it's the test article in a way That's testing out your your Manufacturing Technologies the Manufacturing is the Big Challenge yes I Mean I don't want to make it sound like

Any of it is easy I mean the people who Are designning the engines and all this So all of it is hard um for sure but the But the challenge right now is driving Really hard to get to uh is to get to Rate manufacturing and to do that in an Efficient way again kind of back to our Cost point if you get to rate Manufacturing in an inefficient way you Haven't really solved the cost problem And maybe you're haven't really moved The state-ofthe-art forward all this has To be about moving the state-ofthe-art Forward there are easier easier Businesses to do I always tell people Look if you are trying to make money you Know like start a salty snack food Company or or something you know you you Write that idea Down like make the Lex Friedman potato Chips you know this don't don't say it The people going to steal It but yeah it's hard you see what I'm Saying it's like there's nothing easy About this business and um but but it's Its own reward it's it's it's uh it's Fascinating it's worthwhile it's Meaningful and so you know I you know Not I don't want to pick on salty snack Food companies but I think it's it's Less meaningful you know at the end of The day you're not going to you're not Going to have accomplished something Amazing yeah there's even if you do make

A lot of money out it yeah there's Something fundamentally different about The quote unquote business of space Exploration yeah it's for sure it's a Grand project of humanity yes it's one Of Humanity's Grand challenges and Especially as you look at going to the Moon and going to Mars and building Giant O'Neal colonies and unlocking all The things I you know I won't live long Enough to see the fruits of this but the Fruits of this come from building a road To space getting the Infrastructure I give you an analogy When I started Amazon I didn't have to Develop a payment system it already Existed it was called the credit card I Didn't have to develop a transportation System to deliver the packages it Already existed it was called the postal Service and Royal May and Deutsche Post And so on so all this heavy lifting Infrastructure was already in place and I could stand on its Shoulders and that's why when you look At the internet um you know by the way Another giant piece of infrastructure That was around in the early I'm taking You back to like 1994 people were using dialup modems and It was piggybacking on top of the Long-distance phone network that's how The internet that's you know how people Were accessing servers and so on and

That again if if that hadn't existed it Would have been hundreds of billions of Capex to put that out there no startup Company could have done that and so the Problem you know you see in if you look At the dynamism in the Internet space Over the last 20 years it's because you Know you see like two kids in a dorm Room could start an Internet company That could be successful and do amazing Things because they didn't have to build Heavy infrastructure it was already There and that's what I want to do I Take you know my Amazon winnings and use That to build heavy infrastructure so The Next Generation you know my the generation That's my children and their children These you know th those Generations can Then use that heavy infrastructure then There'll be space entrepreneurs Who Start in their dorm room yeah like that That will be a marker of success When you can have a really valuable Space company started in a dorm room Then we know that we've built enough Infrastructure so the Ingenuity and Imagination can really be Unleashed I Find that very exciting as they will of Course as kids do uh take all of this Hard infrastructure ability for granted Of course which is the entrepreneurial Spirit that's a um an inventor's Greatest dream is that their inventions

Are so successful that they are one day Taken for granted you know nobody thinks Of Amazon as an invention anymore nobody Thinks of customer reviews as an we Pioneered customer views but now they're So commonplace same thing with oneclick Shopping and so on but that's a Compliment that's how you know you you You invent something that's so used so Beneficially used by so many people that They take it for granted I don't know About nobody I every time I use Amazon I'm still amazed how does this work the Logistics that proves you're a very Curious Explorer all right all right Back to Rockets Timeline you said 2024 uh as it stands now are both the First test launch and the launch of Escapade explorers Tom Mars still Possible in 2024 yeah I think so um for Sure the first launch and then we'll see If if Escapade goes on that or not I Think that the first launch for sure and I hope Escapade too hope well I just Don't know which Miss it's it's actually Going to be slated on so we also have Other things that might go on that first Mission oh I got it but you're Optimistic that uh the launches will Still oh the first launch I'm very Optimistic that the first launch of new Glenn will be in 2024 and I'm just not 100% certain what payload will be on

That first launch are you nervous about It are you kidding I'm extremely nervous About It oh man 100% I've you know every uh Every launch I go to you know for new Shepard for other vehicles too I'm Always nervous for these launches but Yes for sure a first launch to have no Nervousness about that would be you know Some sign of derangement I think so well I got to visit the launch but it's Pretty um I mean it's epic you know we Have done a tremendous amount of ground Testing a tremendous amount of uh Simulation so uh you know a lot of the Problems that we might find in Flight Have been resolved but there are some Problems you can only find in flight so You know cross your fingers uh I Guarantee you you'll uh you'll have fun Watching it no matter what happens 100% When the thing is fully assembled and Comes up yeah the the transporter Erector just the transporter erector for A rocket of this scale is extraordinary That's an incredible machine vehicle uh Travels out horizontally and then kind Of yeah you know comes up over a few Hours yeah it's a beautiful thing to Watch uh speaking of which if that makes You nervous I don't know if you Remember but you uh were aboard a new Shepherd on this first crude Flight uh how was that experience were

You were you terrified then you know Strangely I wasn't you know I you ride The Rocket okay watched other people ride in The rocket and I'm more nervous than When I was inside the rocket Myself um it was a difficult Conversation to have with my mother uh When I told her I was going to go on the First one and Not only was I going to go But I was going to bring my brother too This is a tough conversation to have With a mom and there's a long pause told Her she like both of you um H it was an incredible experience and we Were we were were laughing in inside the Capsule and you know were not Nervous um the people on the ground were Very nervous for us um U it was actually One of the most emotionally powerful Parts of the experience was not happened Even before the flight at 4:30 in the Morning brother and I are getting ready To go to the launch site and Lauren is Going to take us there in her helicopter And we're getting ready to leave and we Go outside outside the ranch house there In West Texas where the launch facility Is and all of our family my kids and my Brother's kids and our you know our Our parents and uh close friends are Assembled there and they're saying Goodbye to us but they're kind of saying Maybe they think they're saying goodbye

To us Forever and you know we might not have Felt that way but it was obvious from Their faces how nervous they were that They felt that way and it was sort of Powerful because it allowed us to see it Was almost like attending your own Memorial service or something like you Could feel how loved you were in that Moment um and it was uh it was really Amazing yeah and I mean there's just a Epic nature to it too the asent the Floating of zero gravity I'll tell you Something very interesting zero gravity Feels very natural I don't know if it's Because we you know it's like return to The womb it just confirmed You're an Alien but That's I think that's what I think That's what you just said feels so Natural to be in Zurg it was really Interesting and then what people talk About the overview effect and seeing Earth from space I had that feeling very Powerfully I think everyone did um you See how fragile the Earth is if you're Not an environmentalist it will make you One uh the the great Jim level quote you Know he looked back at the Earth from Space and he said he realized you don't Go to heaven when you die you go to Heaven when you're born and it's just You know that's the feeling that people Get when they're in space you see all

This Blackness all this nothingness and There's one Gem of life and it's Earth It is a gem uh what you know you're You've talked a lot about decision- Making throughout your time with Amazon What was that decision like to uh to Ride to be the first to ride your Shepherd like what just be before you Talk to your mom yeah what what like the Pros and cons like actually as one human Being as a as a leader of a Company um on all fronts like what was That decision make you like I decided That first of all I knew the vehicle Extremely well I know the team who built It I know the Vehicle um the uh I'm very comfortable With the like the Escape system we put As much effort into the Escape system on That vehicle as we put into all the rest Of the vehicle combined it's one of the Hardest pieces of Engineering in the Entire new Shepard architecture can you Actually describe what do you mean by Escape system what's involved we have a Solid rocket motor in the base of the Crew capsule so that if anything goes Wrong on Asent you know while the main rocket Engine is fired Ing we can ignite this solid rocket Motor in the base of the crew capsule And escape from the booster it's a very Challenging system to build design

Validate test all of these things it is The reason that I am comfortable letting Anyone go on new Shephard so the the the Booster is as safe and reliable as we Can make it but um we are harnessing Whenever you're talking about rocket Engines I don't care what rocket engine You're talking about you are harnessing Such vast power in such a small compact Geometric space the power density is so Enormous that it is impossible to ever Be sure that nothing will go wrong and So the only way to um improve safety is To have an escape system and you know And Historically Rockets human rated Rockets Have had Escape systems only the space Shuttle did not and um but Apollo had One um the you know um all of the Previous you know Gemini Etc they all Had Escape Systems and uh we have on new Shephard Unusual escapes most Escape systems are Towers we have a pusher Escape system so The solid rocket motor is actually Embedded in the base of the crew capsule And it pushes and it's reusable in the Sense that if we don't use it so if we Have a nominal Mission we land with it The tower systems have to be ejected at A certain point in the mission and so They get wasted even in a nominal Mission and so again you know costs Really matters on these things so we

Figured out how to have the Escape System be a reusable uh in the event That it's not used you can reuse it um And have it be a pusher system it's a Very sophisticated thing so I knew these Things you asked me about my decision to Go and so I know the vehicle very well I Know the people who uh designed it I Have great trust in them um and in the Engineering that we did uh and I thought To myself look if I am not ready to go Then I wouldn't want anyone to go a Tourism vehicle has to be designed in my View to have very to be a safe as one Can make it you can't make it perfectly Safe it's Impossible but you know you know you Have to you people will do things people Take risk you know they climb mountains They you know they Skydive they you know Do deep underwater scuba diving and so On people are okay taking risk you can't Eliminate the risk but it is something Because it's a tourism vehicle you have To do your utmost to eliminate those Risks and I felt very good about the System I think it's one of the reasons I Was so Calm inside and maybe others were just Calm they didn't know as much about it As I did who was in charge of engaging The Escape system did you have it's Automated okay the Escape system is Visualizing is completely automated

Automated is better because it can react So much faster so yeah for for tourism Rockets safety is a huge huge huge Priority for space exploration also but A a tin you know a Delta less yes I mean I think for you know if you're doing you Know there are human activities where we Tolerate more risk if you're saving Somebody's life you know it um if you Are you know engaging in real Exploration um these are things where You know I personally think you we would Accept more risk in part because you Have to is there a part of you that's Frustrated by the rate of progress in Blue origin blue origin needs to be much Faster and it's one of the reasons that I left my role as the CEO of Amazon uh a Couple of years ago I needed I wanted to come in and um You Blue origin needs me right now and so I Had always when I was the CEO of Amazon My point of view on this is if I'm the CEO of a publicly traded company it's Going to get my full attention and I Really it's just how I think about Things I it was very important to me I Felt I had an obligation to all the Stakeholders at Amazon uh to do that um And so having you know turned the CE I'm Still the executive chair there but I Turned the CEO role over and the Reason the primary reason I did that is So that I could spend time on Blue

Origin adding some you know energy some Sense of urgency we need to move much Faster and we're going To uh what are the ways to speed it up So I mean there's Uh you've talked a lot of different ways To sort of uh at at Amazon um you removing uh Barriers for for Progress sort of Distributing making everybody autonomous And self-reliant in terms all the all Those kinds of things is that apply at Blue origin or is it does apply I know I'm leading this directly we are going To become the world's most decisive Company across any Industry and so you know at Amazon for You know for ever since the beginning I Said we're going to become the world's Most customer obsessed Company and no matter the industry like People one day people are going to come To Amazon from the healthc care industry And want to know how did you guys how do You how are you so customer obsessed how Do you act not just pay lip service that But actually do that um and from you Know all different Industries should Come on to study us to see how we Accomplish that and the analogous thing At Blue origin and what will help us Move faster is we are going to become The world's most decisive company we're Going to get really good at taking

Appropriate technology risk making those Decisions quickly um you know being bold On those things that's what and having The right culture that supports that you Need people to be ambitious technically Ambitious you know if there are five Ways to do something we'll study them But let's study them very quickly and Make a decision we can always change our Mind uh it doesn't you know changing Your mind this I talk about oneway doors And two-way doors most Decisions are two-way doors can you Explain that cuz I I love that uh Metaphor if you make the wrong decision If it's a two-way door decision you walk Out the door you pick a door you walk Out you spend a little time there it Turns out to be the wrong decision you Can come back in and pick another door Some decisions are so consequential and So important and so hard to reverse that They really are one-way door decisions You go in that door you're not coming Back MH and those decisions have to be Made very deliberately very carefully um If you can think of yet another way to Analyze the decision you should slow Down and do that so you know uh when I Was CEO of Amazon I often found myself In the position of being the chief Slowdown officer because somebody would Be bringing me a one-way door decision And I it's say okay I can think of three

More ways to analyze that so let's go do That because we have we are not going to Be able to reverse this one easily maybe You can reverse if it's going to be very Costly and very timec consuming we Really have to get this one right from The Beginning and Uh what happens Unfortunately in companies what can Happen is that you have a one siiz Fits-all decisionmaking process where You end up using the heavyweight Process on all decisions yeah including The lightweight ones the two-way door Decisions two-way door decisions should Mostly be made by single individuals or By very small teams deep in the Organization and oneway door decisions Are the ones that that are the Irreversible ones those are the ones That should be elevated up to you know The senior most Executives who should Slow them down and make sure that the Right thing is being done Yeah I mean part of the skill here is to To know the difference between one way And two way I think you me yeah I mean I Think you mentioned Amazon Prime uh the decision to sort of create Amazon Prime as a one-way door and I Mean it's not it's unclear if it is or Not but it probably is and it's a really Big risk to go there there are a bunch

Of decisions like that that are you Know changing the decision is going to Be very very complicated some of them Are technical decisions too the because Some technical decisions are like quick Drying cement you know if you're going To once you make them it gets really Hard I mean you know choosing which Propellants to use in a vehicle you know Selecting LG for the booster stage and Selecting hydrogen for the upper Stage that has turned out to be a very Good decision but if you changed your Mind that would be a very that would be A very big setback do you see what I'm Saying so that's the kind of decision You scrutinize very very carefully other Things just aren't like that most Decisions are not that way most Decisions should be made by single Individuals but they need and and and Done quickly in the full understanding That you can always change your mind Yeah one of the things I really liked Perhaps this not two-way door decisions Is uh I disagree and commit phrase so Don't so somebody brings up an idea to You if it's a two-way or you state that You don't understand enough to agree but You still back them I I'd love to Explain that yeah disagree and commit is A really important principle that saves A lot of arguing yeah so you know I want To use that in my personal life I

Disagree but commit like it's very Common in any Endeavor in life in Business and any you know anybody where You have teammates you have a teammate And the two of you disagree yeah At some point you have to make a Decision and you know in companies we Tend to organize hierarchically so There's this you know whoever is the More senior person ultimately gets to Make the decision so ultimately the CEO Gets to make that Decision and the CEO may not always make The decision that they agree with so Like you know I would I would often I Would be the one who would disagree and Commit some one of my direct reports Would very much want to do it do Something in a particular way I would Think it was a bad idea I would explain My point of view they would say I Jeff I Think you're wrong and here's why and we Would go back and forth and I would Often say you know what I don't think You're right um but I'm going to gamble With you and um you're closer to the Ground truth than I am I've known you For 20 years you have great Judgment I don't know that I'm right Either not really not for sure all these Decisions are complicated let's do it Your way but at least then you've made a Decision and and I'm agreeing to commit To that decision so I'm not going to be

Second guessing it I'm not going to be Sniping at it I'm not going to be saying I told you so I'm going to try actively To help make sure it works that's a Really important teammate Behavior There's so many ways that dispute Resolution is a really interesting thing In on teams and there are so many ways When two people disagree about something Even I'm assuming on the case where Everybody's well intentioned they just Have a very different opinion about what The right decision is and we have in our Society and inside companies we have a Bunch of um mechanisms that we use to Resolve these kinds of disputes a lot of Them are I think really bad so an Example of a really bad way of coming to Agreement is Compromise so compromise you know look I Here's we're in a room here and I could Say Lex how tall do you think this Ceiling is and you'd be like I don't Know Jeff maybe 12 feet tall and I would Say I I think it's 11 feet tall and then Um we'd say you know what let's just Call it 11 and A2 Feet that's compromised instead of the Right thing to do is you know to get a Tape measure or figure out some way of Measuring but think getting that tape Measure and figure how to get it to the Top of the ceiling and all these things That requires energy compromise the

Advantage of compromise as a resolution Mechanism is that it's low Energy um but it doesn't lead to truth And so uh in things like the height of The ceiling where truth is a knowable Thing you shouldn't allow compromise to Be used when you can know the truth MH Um another really bad resolution Mechanism happens all the time is just Who's more Stubborn yeah this is also let's say two Executives who disagree and they just Have a war of attrition in which Everyone gets exhausted first Capitulates to the other one again you Haven't arrived at truth and this is Very Demoralizing so you know this is where Escalation I I try to ask people who you Know on my team and say never get to a Point where you are resolving something By you know who gets exhausted First escalate that I'll help you make The decision like let's because that's So de-energizing and such a terrible Lousy way to make a decision so you want To get to the resolution as quickly as Possible because that ultimately leads To high velocity of the yes and you want To try to get as close to truth as Possible so you want like you know Exhausting the other person is not truth Seeking yes and compromise is not truth Seeking so you know it doesn't mean now

And there are a lot of cases where no One knows the real truth and that's Where disagree and commit can come in um But it's it's um escalation is better Than War of Attrition escalate to you Know to your boss and say hey we can't Agree on this we like each other we're Respectful of each other but we strongly Disagree with each other we need you to You know make a decision here so we can Move forward but decisiveness Moving forward quickly on on decisions As quickly as as you responsibly can is How you increase velocity most of what Slows things down is in is taking too Long to make decisions at all skill Levels you know so it has to be part of The Culture to get high velocity you know Amazon has a million and a half people And the company is still fast we're Still decisive we're still quick and That's because the culture supports that At every scale in a in a distributed way Try to maximize the velocity of Decisions exactly you've mentioned the Lunar program let me ask you about that Yeah um there's a a lot going on there And you haven't really talked about it Much so in addition to the Artemis Program with NASA uh blue is doing its Own Lander program can you describe it The there's a there's a sexy picture on Instagram with with one of them is it

The MK1 I guess yeah the mark one the Picture is me with Bill Nelson the NASA Administrator just to clarify the Lander Is the sexy thing about The really want to clarify I me I know It was either Lander or Bill okay Um I love B clarifying okay um the uh Yes the Maran Lander um is designed to Take 3,000 kilograms to the surface of The Moon cargo Expendable cargo it's an Expendable Lander lands on the moon Stays there take 3,000 kg to the surface It can be launched on a single new Glenn Flight which is very important so it's a Relatively simple architecture just like The human Landing system Lander they Called the mark 2 Mark 1 is also uh Fueled with liquid Hydrogen and uh which is for for high Energy missions like landing on the Surface of the Moon the high specific Impulse of hydrogen is a very big advant AG the disadvantage of hydrogen has Always been that it's since it's such a Deep cryogen it's not storable so it's Constantly boiling off and you're losing Propellant um because it's boiling off And so what we're doing as part of the L Of our lunar program is developing solar Powerered Cryocoolers that can actually make Hydrogen a storable propellant for deep Space and that's a real game Cher uh It's a game changer for any high energy

Mission so to the moon but to the outer Planets to Mars everywhere so the idea With Mark one both Mark 1 and Mark I is The new Glenn Can uh carry it from the surface of Earth to the surface Of the Moon exactly so the mark one is Expendable the lunar the lunar lander We're developing for NASA the mark 2 Lander that's part of uh the prr they Call it the sustaining Lander program so That Lander is designed to be Reusable it can land on the surface of The Moon in in a a single stage Configuration and then take off so the Whole the you know the if you look at The Apollo Program the lunar lander and Apollo was Really two stages it would land on the Surface and then it would leave The Descent stage on the surface of the Moon And only the ascent stage would go back Up into lunar or orbit where it would Rendevous with the Command Module here What we're doing is we have a single Stage lunar lander that carries down Enough propellant so it can bring the Whole thing back up so that it can be Reused over and over and the point of Doing that of course is to reduce cost So that you can make Lunar missions more Affordable over time which is that's one Of NASA's big objectives because this Time the the whole point of Artemis is

Go back to the moon but is time to stay MH so you know back in the Apollo Program we went to the moon six times And then ended the program and it really Was too expensive to to continue and so There's a few questions there but one is How do you stay in the moon what what Ideas do you have About uh yeah like a sustain sustaining Life where a few folks can stay there For prol long periods of time well um One of the things things we're working On is um using lunar resources like Lunar regolith to Manufacture Commodities and even solar Cells on the surface of the Moon we've Already built a solar cell that is Completely made from lunar regolith Simulant and this solar cell is only About 7% uh power efficient so it's very Inefficient compared to you know the More advanced solar cells that we make Here on Earth but if you can figure out How to make a practical solar cell Factory that you can land on the surface Of the Moon and then the raw material For those solar cells is simply lunar Regolith then you can just uh you know Continue to churn out solar cells on the Surface of the Moon have lots of power On the surface of the Moon that will Make it easier for people to live on the Moon uh similarly we're working on Extracting oxygen from lunar regolith so

Lunar regolith by weight is has a lot of Oxygen in it it's bound very tightly you Know in as oxides with other elements And so it you have to separate the Oxygen which is very energy intensive so That also could work together with the Uh solar cells but if you can uh and Then Ultimately we may be able to find Practical quantities Of Ice uh in the permanently shadowed Craters on the poles of the Moon and we know there is ice water um In in those uh or water ice in those Craters and we know that we can break That down with electrolysis into Hydrogen and oxygen and then youd not Only have oxygen but you'd also have a Very good high efficiency propellent uh Fuel in in hydrogen so there's a lot the There's a lot we can do to make the moon More sustainable over time but the very First step the thing the kind of gate That all of that has to go through is we Need to be able to Land uh cargo and humans on the surface Of the Moon at an acceptable cost to Fast forward a little bit is there any Chance Jeff basil steps foot on the moon And on Mars one or the other or both it's very Unlikely I think it's probably something That gets done by Future Generations by The time it gets to me I think in my

Lifetime that's probably going to be Done by professional astronauts sadly I Would love to sign up for that mission Um so don't count me out yet Lex you Know give me give me a fighting shot Here maybe but I think if we're if we Are uh placing Uh reasonable bets on such a thing in my Lifetime that will continue to be done By professional astronauts yeah so these Are risky difficult missions and Probably missions that require a lot of Training you know you are going there For a very specific purpose to do Something we're going to be able to do a Lot on the Moon too with automation so You know in terms of setting up these Factories and doing all that we we're Sophisticated enough now with automation That we probably don't need humans to Tend those factories and machines Um so it's there's a lot that's going to Be done in both modes so I have to ask The bigger picture question about the Two companies Pushing Humanity forward out towards the Stars blue origin and SpaceX are you Competitors collaborators which and to What degree well I would say you know Just like the internet is big and they Lots of winners at all scale levels I Mean there are half a dozen giant Companies the you know the internet has Made but they're a bunch of medium-sized

Companies and a bunch of small companies All successful all with profit streams All driving great customer Experiences um that's what we want to See in space that kind of dynamism and Space is Big there's room for a bunch of Winners and it's going to happen at all Skill levels and so you know SpaceX is Going to be successful for sure I want Blue origin to be successful and I hope There are another you know five Companies is right behind Us but you know I spoke to Elon a few Times recently about you about blue Origin and he was very positive about You as a person and very supportive of All the efforts you've been leading at Blue what's your thoughts you worked With a lot of leaders at Amazon at Blue What's your thoughts about Elon as a Human being and a Leader well I don't really know Elon Very well um you know I know his public Persona but I also know you can't know Anyone by their public Persona um it's Impossible I mean you may think you do But I guarantee you don't so I don't Really know you know Elon way better Than I do Lex but um in in terms of his Judging by the results he must be a very Capable leader um there's no way you Could have you know Tesla and SpaceX Without being a capable leader it's Impossible yeah I just I I hope you guys

Hang out sometimes shake hands and and Sort of um have a kind of friendship That would Inspire just the entirety of Humanity because you what you're doing Is like one of the big Grand challenges ahead for Humanity well I agree with you and I think in a lot of These um Endeavors we're very Like-minded yeah so I think you I think You I'm not saying we're identical but I Think we're very likeminded and so I you Know know I I I love that idea all right Going back to uh sexy pictures on your Instagram uh there's a video of you from The early days of Amazon um giving a Tour of your quote sort of offices I Think your dad is holding the camera he Is yeah I know yes this is what the Giant Orange extension cord and yeah and You're like explaining the The Genius of The extension cord how this a this a Desk and the CRT Monitor and sort of That's where the that's where all the Magic Captain I forget what your dad Said but this is like the the the center Of it all so um what was it like what Was going through your mind at that time You left a good job in New York and took This leap were you excited were you Scared so excited and scared anxious you Know thought the odds of success were Low told all of our early investors that I thought there was a 30% chance of Success by which I just been getting

Your money back not like turn not what Actually happened happened because That's the truth every startup company Is unlikely to work it's helpful to be In reality about that um but that Doesn't mean you can't be optimistic so You kind of have to have this duality in Your head like you on the one hand You're you know what the Baseline Statistics say about startup companies And the other hand you have to ignore All of that and just be 100% sure it's Going to work and you're doing both Things at the same time you're holding That contra Addiction in your head but It was so so exciting I love you know Every from 1994 when uh the company was Founded 1995 when we opened our Doors all the way until today it's I Find Amazon so exciting and that doesn't Mean it's like full of pain full of Problems you know it's like there so Many things that need to be resolved and Worked and made better and and Etc but But on balance it's so fun it's such a Privilege it's been such a joy I feel so Grateful that I've been part of that Journey um it's just been incredible so In some sense you don't want a a single Day of comfort you've written about this Many times we'll talk about your writing Which uh I I would highly recommend People read in just the letters to Shareholders uh so you wrote up uh

Explaining the idea of day one thinking I think you first wrote bought in 97 Letters to shareholders then you also in A way wrote it About sad to say is your last letter to Shareholders Co um and you said that day Two is stasis followed by Irrelevance followed by excruciating Painful decline followed by death and That is why it's always day One um can you explain this day one Thing this is a really powerful way to Describe the beginning and the journey Of Amazon it's it's really a very simple And I think age-old idea about renewal And rebirth and like every day is day One every day you're deciding what You're going to do and you are not Trapped by what you were or who you were Or any self-consistency self-consistency Even can be trap and so day one thinking Is kind of we start fresh every day and We get to make new decisions every day About invention about customers about uh How we're going to operate what even Even even as deeply as what our Principles are we can go back to that Turns out we don't change those very Often but we change them Occasionally and um when we work on Programs that Amazon we often uh make a list of Tenants and this the tenants are kind of They're not principles they're a little

More tactical than principles but it's Kind of the the main ideas that we want This program to embody whatever those Are and one of the things that we do is We put these are the tenants for this Program and in parentheses we always put Unless you know a better Way and that idea unless you know a Better way is so important because you Never want to get trapped by Dogma you Never want to get trapped by history it Doesn't mean you discard history or Ignore it there's so much value in what Has worked in the past and but you can't Be blindly following what you've done And that's the heart of day one is You're always starting fresh and uh to The question of of how to fend off day Two you said such a question can't have A simple answer as you're saying there Will be many elements multiple paths and Many traps I don't know the whole answer But I may know bits of it here's a Starter pack of Essentials maybe others Come to mind for day one Defense customer Obsession uh a Skeptical view of proxies the eager Adoption of external trends and high Velocity decision making so we talked About High Velocity decision making That's more difficult than it Sounds so maybe you can pick one that Stands out to you as you can comment on Uh eager adoption of external trends

High Velocity decision-making skeptical View of proxies how do you fight off day Two well you know I'll talk about Because I think it's the one that is Maybe in some ways the hardest to Understand um is the skeptical view of Proxies um one of the things that Happens in business probably anything That you're where you're you know you Have an ongoing program and something is Is underway for a number of years is you Develop certain things that you're Managing to like let's say the typical Case would be a Metric and that metric isn't the real Underlying Thing and so uh you know maybe the Metric is um efficiency metric around Customer contacts per unit sold or Something like if you sell a million Units how many customer contacts do you Get or how many returns do you get and So on and so on and so what happens is a Little bit of a kind of inertia sets In where somebody a long time ago Invented that metric and they invented That metric they decided we need to Watch for you know customer returns per Unit sold as an important metric but They had a reason why they chose that That metric the person who invented that Metric and decided it was worth watching And then fast forward five years that Metric is the proxy MH the proxy for

Truth I guess the proxy for truth the Proxy for customer let's say in this Case it's a proxy for customer Happiness and but that metric is not Actually customer happiness it's a proxy For customer happiness the person who Invented the metric understood that Connection five years later It a kind of inertia can set in and you Forget the truth behind why you were Watching that metric in the first place And the world shifts a little yeah and Now that proxy isn't as valuable as it Used to be or it's missing something and You have to be on alert for that you Have to know okay this is I don't really Care about this metric I care about Customer Happiness and this metric is worth Putting energy into and following and Improving and scrutinizing only in so Much as it actually affects customer Happiness and so you got to constantly Be on guard and it's very very common This is a nuanced problem it's very Common especially in large companies That they are managing to metrics that They don't really understand they don't Really know why they exist and the world May have shifted out from under them a Little and the metrics are no longer as Relevant as they were when somebody 10 Years earlier invented the metric that Is a Nuance but uh that's a big problem

Right there's something so compelling to Have a nice metric to try to optimize Yes and by the way you do need metrics Yes you do you know you can't ignore Them um you want them but you just have To be constantly on guard this is you Know a a way to slip into day two Thinking would be to manage your Business to metrics that you don't Really understand and you're not really Sure why they were invented in the first Place and you're not sure they're still As relevant as they used to be uh what Does it take to be the guy or gal who Who uh who brings up the point that this Proxy might be outdated I guess what Does it take to have a culture that Enables that in the meeting because That's a very uncomfortable thing to Bring up at a meeting we all showed up Here Friday this is such you have just Asked a million-dollar question so th This is this is what you're if I Generalize what you're asking you were Talking in general about Truthtellah you can survive you can Procreate if you're the village truth Teller you might get clubbed to death in The middle of the night truths are often They don't want to be heard because Important truths can be um uncomfortable They can be awkward they can be Exhausting impolite all that kind of Stuff challenging uh they can make

People defensive even if that's not the Intent but any High performing Organization or whether it's a sports Team a business you know a political Organization an activist group I don't Care what it is any High performing Organization has to have mechanisms and A culture that supports Truthtellah tell people it's not what We're designed to do as humans it's not Really it's kind of a side effect you Know we can do that but it's not how we Survive we mostly Survive by being Social animals um and being cordial and Cooperative and um that's really Important and so there's a you know Science is all about truth telling it's Actually a very formal mechanism for Trying to tell the truth and even in Science you find that it's hard to tell The truth right H even you know you're Supposed to have a hypothesis and test It and find data and reject the Hypothesis and so on it's not easy but Even in science there's like the senior Scientists and the junior scientist and Then there's a hierarchy of humans where The seniority somehow seniority matters In the scientific process which is and That's true inside companies too so you Want to set up your culture so that the Most Junior Person can overrule the most senior Person if they have data um and and and

That really is about trying to you know There are little things you can do so For example in every meeting that I Attend I always speak Last and I know from Experience that you know If I speak first even Very strong Willed um highly intelligent High Judgment participants in that meeting Will wonder well if Jeff thinks that I Came in this meeting thinking one thing But maybe I'm not right and so you can Do little things like if you're the most Senior person in the Room go last let everybody else go first In fact ideally try to have the most Junior person go first and the second Then try to go in order of Seniority um so that you can hear Everyone's opinion in a kind of Unfiltered way because we really do we Actually literally change our opinions If somebody who you really respect says Something makes you change your mind a Little so you're saying implicitly or Explicitly give per For people to have a strong opinion that As long as it's backed by data yes and Sometimes it can even by the way a lot Of our most powerful truths turn out to Be hunches they turn out to be based on Anecdotes their intuition based and Sometimes you don't even have strong

Data but you may know you may know the Person well enough to trust their Judgment you may feel yourself leaning In it may resonate with a set of Anecdotes you have and then you may be a To say you know something about that Feels right let's go collect some data On that let's try to see if we can Actually know whether it's right but for Now let's not disregard it because it Feels right you can also fight inherent Bias there's an optimism bias like if There are two interpretations of a new Set of data and one of them is happy and One of them is Unhappy it's a little dangerous to jump To the conclusion that the happy Interpretation is right you may want to Sort of compensate for that human bias Of of looking for you know trying to Find the silver lining and said look This that might be good but I'm going to Go with it's bad for now until we're Sure So speaking of Happiness bias data Collection and anecdotes you have to How's that for a Transition you have to you have to tell Uh me the story of the the call you made The customer service call you made to Demonstrate a point um about weight Times yeah this is very early in the History of Amazon and uh we were going Over a weekly Business review and a set Of documents and I have I have a saying

Which is when the data and the anecdotes Disagree the anecdotes are usually right And and it doesn't mean you just Slavishly go follow the anecdotes then It means you go examine the data because The dat and it's usually not that the Data is being um misc collected it's Usually that you're not measuring the Right thing and so you know if you have A bunch of customers complaining about Something and at the same time you know Your metrics look like why they Shouldn't be complaining um you should Doubt the metrics and an early uh Example of this was we had metrics that Showed that our customers were waiting I Think less than I don't know 60 seconds When they called a 1 1800 number to get Am you know phone customer service the Waight time was supposed to be less than 60 seconds and but we had a lot of Complaints that it was longer than that And anecdotally it seemed longer than That like you know I would call customer Service myself and so one day we're in a Meeting we're going to the wbr and the Weekly Business review and we get to This metric in the deck and the guy who Leads customer service is to fit in the Metric and I said okay let's Call picked up the phone and I dialed The 1800 number and called customer Service and we just waited in Silence what did it turn out to be like

Oh was really long more than 10 minutes I think oh wow I mean it was it was many Minutes and so you know it dramatically Made the point that something was wrong With the data collection we weren't Measuring the right thing and and that You know set off a whole chain of events Where we start measuring it right and That's an example by the way of of Truth Telling is like that's an uncomfortable Thing to do yeah but it's but you have To seek truth even when it's Uncomfortable and you have to get People's attention and they have to buy Into it and they have to get energized Around really fixing things so that that Speaks to the the obsession with the Customer experience so one of the Defining aspects Of your approach to Amazon is just being Obsessed with making customers happy I Think uh companies sometimes say that But Amazon is really obsessed with that I think there's something really Profound to that which is seeing the World Through The Eyes of the customer Like the customer experience the human Being that's using the product that's uh Enjoying the product like what they're Like the subtle little Things um that make up up their Experience like how do you optimize Those this is another um really good and Kind of deep question because there are

Big things that are really important to Manage and then there are small things In internally to Amazon we call them Paper Cuts so we have we're always working on The big things like if you ask me and And most of the energy goes into the big Things as it should so um and you can Identify the big things and I would Encourage anybody if any you knowbody Listening to this is a Entrepreneur as a small business Whatever um you know think about the Things that are not going to change over 10 years and those are probably the big Things so like I know at in our retail Business at Amazon 10 years from now Customers are still going to want low Prices I know they're still going to Want fast delivery and I just know They're still going to want big Selection so it's impossible to imagine A scenario where 10 years from now I say Where customer say I love Amazon I just Wish the prices were a little higher or I love Amazon I just wish you delivered A little more slowly so when you Identify the big things you can tell They're worth putting energy into Because they're stable in time okay but You're asking about something a little Different which is in every customer Experience there are those big things And by the way it's astonishly hard to

Focus even on just the big things so Even though they're obvious they're Really hard to focus on but in addition To that there are all these little tiny Customer experience Deficiencies and we call those paper Cuts and we make long lists of them and Then we have dedicated Teams that go fix paper cuts because the Teams working on the big issues never Get to the paper Cuts they never work their way down the List to get to they're working on big Things as they should and as you want Them to um and so you need special teams Who are charged with fixing paper cuts Where would you put on the on the paper Cut Spectrum the buy now with one click Button which is I think pretty genius so To me like Okay my interaction with things I love On the internet there's things I do a Lot I maybe presenting regular human uh I would love for those things to be Frictionless for example uh booking Airline Tickets just saying but you know It's buying a a thing with one click Making that experience frictionless Intuitive all aspects of that like that That just fundamentally makes my life Better not just in terms of efficiency In terms of some kind of cognitive load Yeah cognitive load and peace inner

Peace and happiness first of all buying Stuff uh isn't a pleasant experience Have having enough money to buy a thing And then buying it is a pleasant Experience and like having pain around That is somehow just you're ruining a be A beautiful experience and I guess all I'm saying as a as a person who loves Good ideas is that a paper cut a Solution to a paper cut yes so it's Probably that particular thing is Probably a solution to a number of paper Cuts so if you go back and look at our Order Pipeline and how people shopped on Amazon before we invented one click Shopping there were a whole Ser there Was more friction there was a whole Series of paper cuts and that uh Invention eliminated a bunch of paper Cuts and I think you're absolutely right By the way that there when you come up With something like oneclick shopping Again this is like so ingrained people Now I'm impressed that you even notice It I mean most people every time I click The button most people surge of Happiness this there is in in the Perfect invention for the perfect moment In the perfect context there is real Beauty yeah it is actual Beauty and it Feels good it's emotional it's emotional For the inventor it's emotional for the Team that builds it it's emotional for The customer it's a big deal

And you can feel those things but to Keep coming up with that idea with those Kinds of ideas I guess is the the day One thinking effort yeah and you need You need a big group of people who feel That kind of uh satisfaction with Creating that kind of Beauty there's a lot of uh books written About you there's a there's a book Invent and wander where uh Walter Isaacson does an intro and it's mostly Collective writings of yours um I've Read that I also recommend people check Out out the founders Podcast uh that covers you a lot and it Does different analysis of different Business advice you've given over the Years um I bring all that up because uh I saw that There uh a mentioned that you said that Books are an antidote for short Attention Spans and I forget how it was phrased But that when you were thinking about The Kindle that you're thinking About how Technology changes Yeah we co-evolve yeah with our Tools so you know we invent new tools And then our tools change us which is Fascinating to think about goes in a Circle and there's some aspect you know Even just inside business where you Don't just make the customer happy but

You also have to think about like where Is this going to take Humanity if you Zoom out a bit 100% And you know you you Can feel feel you your brain brains are Plastic and you can feel your brain Getting reprogrammed I remember the First time this happened to me was when Tetris who first came on the scene I'm Sure you've had anybody who's been a Game player has this experience where You close your eyes to lay down to go to Sleep and you see all the little blocks Moving and you can you're kind of Rotating them in your mind and you can Just tell as you walk around the world That you have rewired your BL brain to Play Tetris and but that happens with Everything and so you know one of the I Think we still have yet to see the full Repercussions of this I fear but I think One of the things that we've done online You know and largely because of social Media is we have trained our brains to Be really good at processing super short Form content And you know your podcast flies in the Face of this you know you you you do These long format things and uh reading Reading books is a long format thing and We all do more of if if you if something Is convenient we do more of it and so When you make tools you know that we Carry

Around um a little we carry around in Our pocket a phone and one of the things That phone does for the most part is it Is an attention shortening device Because most of the things we do on our Phone shorten our attention spans and I'm not even going to say we know for Sure that that's bad but I do think it's Happening it's one of the ways we're Co-evolving with that tool but I think I Think it's important to spend some of Your time and some of your life doing Long attention span things yeah I think Uh you've spoken about the value in your Own life of Focus of singular focus on a thing for Prolonged periods of time and that's Certainly what books do and that's Certainly what that piece of technology Does but I bring all that up to to ask You about another piece of technology AI that has the potential to have a um Various Trajectories uh to have an impact on Human civilization H how do you think AI Will change Us we if you're talking about you know Generative AI large language models Things like chat GPT and it's soon Successors and um these are incredibly Powerful Technologies to believe otherwise is to Bury your head in the sand soon to be Even more

Powerful Um it's interesting to me that that Large language models in their current Form are not inventions they're Discoveries You know the telescope was an Invention but looking through it at Jupiter knowing that it had moons was a Discovery like my God it has Moons and that's what Galileo did and so This is closer on that spectrum of Invention you know we know exactly what Happens with a 787 it's an engineered Object we designed it we know how it Behaves we don't want any Surprises um large language models are Much more like discoveries we're Constantly getting surprised by their Capabilities they're not really Engineered Objects um then you know you have This debate about whether they're going To be good for Humanity or bad for Humanity um you know even specialized AI Can be very bad for human ity I mean Just you know just regular machine Learning models that can can make you Know certain weapons of war that could Be incredibly destructive and very Powerful and they're not General AIS They're just they could just be very Smart Weapons Um and so we have to think about all of

Those Things ju I'm very optimistic about this So so even in the face of all this Uncertainty my own view is that that These powerful tools are much more Likely to help us and save us even than They are to on balance hurt us and Destroy us I think you know we humans Have a lot of ways of um we can make Ourselves go extinct you know these Things may help us not do that you know So we may actually they actually save us So the people who are you know overly Concerned I in my view overly concerned It's a valid debate um I I think that I I think that they may be missing part of The equation which is how helpful they Could be in making sure we don't destroy Ourselves um I don't know if you saw the Movie Oppenheimer but to me I first of all I Loved the movie and I thought the best Part of the movie is this bureaucrat Played by Robert Downey Jr who you know Some of people have talked to think That's the most boring part of the movie I thought it was the most fascinating Because what's going on here is you Realize we have invented these awesome Destructive powerful Technologies called Nuclear Weapons and they are managed and you Know we we we humans are we're not Really capable of wielding building

Those weapons yeah where you know that's What he represented in that movie is Here's this guy who is uh just he Wrongly thinks he's like being so petty He thinks that he said something that Oppenheimer said something bad to Einstein about him they didn't talk About him at all as you find out in the Final scene of the movie and yet he Spent his career trying to be vengeful And uh and Petty and that's that's the Problem we as a Species are not Really sophisticated enough and mature Enough to handle these Technologies and So and and by the way before you get to General Ai and the possibility of AI Having agency and there's a lot of Things would have to happen but um There's so much benefit that's going to Come from these Technologies in the Meantime even before their you know General AI in terms of better medicines And uh better tools to develop more Technologies and so on so I think it's An Incredible moment to be alive and to Witness the Transformations that are Going to happen how quickly will happen No one knows but over the next 10 years And 20 years I think we're going to see Really remarkable advances and I Personally am very excited about it First of all really interesting to say

That it's discoveries that it's true That we don't know the limits of what's Possible with the current language Models we don't and like it could be a Few tricks and hacks here and there that That uh open doors to hold entire new Possibilities we do know that humans are Doing something Different um from these models in part Because you know we're so power Efficient you know the human brain does Remarkable things and it does it on About 20 watts of power and you know uh The the AI techniques we use today use Many kilowatts of power to do equivalent Tasks so there's something interesting About the way the human brain does this And also we don't need as much data so You know like self-driving cars are they Have to drive billions and billions of Miles to try and to learn how to drive And you know your average 16-year-old uh Figures it Out with many fewer miles so there are Still some tricks I think that we have Yet to learn I don't think we've learned The last trick I don't think it's just a Question of scaling things up um but What's interesting is that just scaling Things up and I put just in quotes Because it's actually hard to scale Things up but just scaling things up Also appears to pay huge dividends yeah And and it's there's some more nuanced

Aspect about human beings that's Interesting if it's able to accomplish Like being truly original and novel to You know lot large language models being Able to come up with some truly new Ideas uh that's one and the other one is Uh Truth it seems that large language Models are very good at Sounding like they're saying a true Thing but they don't uh require or often Have a grounding in sort of a Mathematical truth it can just basically Is a very good bullshitter so if if There's not enough dat if there's not Enough sort of data uh in the in the Training data about a particular topic Is just going to Concoct um accurate sounding narratives Which is a very fascinating problem to Try to solve how do you get uh language Models to infer what is true and not to Sort of introspect yeah they need to be Taught to say I don't know more often Yeah and uh I know several humans who Could be taught that as well Sure and then the other stuff because You're still a bit involved in the Amazon side with the AI things the other Open question is what kind of products Are created from this oh so many yeah I Mean you know just to you know we have Um Alexa and Eko and Alexa has you know Hundreds of millions of installed base

You know inputs and so there's this There's you know there's Alexa Everywhere and guess what Alexa is about To a lot smarter yeah and so that's Really you know from a product point of View that's super exciting there's so Many opportunities there so many Opportunities shopping assistant you Know like all that stuff is amazing in AWS you know we're building Titan which Is our foundational model we're also Building um Bedrock which our corporate Clients at AWS our Enterprise clients they want to Be able to use these powerful models With their own corporate data yes Without accidentally contributing their Corporate data to that model yes and so Those are the tools we're building for Them with bedrock so there's tremendous Opportunity here yeah the security the Privacy all those things are fascinating Of how to cuz so much value can be Gained by training on private data but You want to keep this secure that's a It's a fascinating technical problem This is a very challenging technical Problem and it's one that we're you know Making progress on and dedicated to Solving for our Customers uh do you think there will be A day when humans and robots maybe Alexa Have a romantic relationship like can be Her well I mean think if you look at

Brainstorming products here if you look At the Spectrum of human variety and What people like you know sexual variety Yes you know they're people who like Everything so the answer to your Question has to be yes I don't know I Don't know how widespread that will be All right but it will happen I was just Asking asking one for a friend but it's All Right I just moving On next question uh what's a perfectly Productive day in the life of Jeff Bezos You're one of the most productive humans In the world well I first of all I get Up in the morning and I putter I like I Like have a coffee you find putter just Like I slowly move around I'm not as Productive as you might think I am I Mean I because I do believe in wandering And sort of I I you know I read my phone For a while I read newspapers for a While I chat with Lauren I drink my First coffee um so I kind of I move Pretty slowly in the first couple of Hours I get up early just naturally uh And uh and then you know I exercise most Days and most days it's not the hard for Me sometimes it's really hard and I do It anyway I don't want to you know and It's painful and I'm like why am I here And I don't want to do why am I here at The gym why am I here at the gym why Don't I do something else you know this

It's not always easy uh what's your Source of motivation in those moments I Know that I'll feel better later if I do It and so like the the real source of Motivation I can tell the days when I Skip it I'm I'm not quite as alert I Don't feel as good um and then there's Harder motivations it's longer term you Want to be healthy as you age you know You want Health span you want ideally You know you want to be healthy and Moving around when you're 80 years old You know and so there's a lot of but That kind of motivation is so far in the Future it can be very hard to work in The second so thinking about the fact I'll feel better in about four hours if I do it now I have more energy for the Rest of my day and so on and so on What's your exercise routine just to Linger on that what do you how much do You curl I mean what are we talking About Here that's all I do at the gym so I Just I I I my my routine um you know on A good day I do about half an hour of Cardio and I do about 45 minutes of Weightlifting resistance training of Some kind mostly weights I have a Trainer who you know I love um who Pushes me um which is really helpful you Know I'll be like uh he'll Say uh Jeff do you you could can we go Up on that weight a little bit and I'll

Think about it and I'll be like no I Don't think so and he'll be he'll look At me and say yeah I think you Can and of course he's right so it's Awful to have somebody push you a little Bit but almost every day you do that I I Do almost every day I do a little bit of Cardio and a little bit of weightlifting And um i' rotate I do a pulling day and A pushing day and a leg day it's all Pretty standard stuff so puttering Coffee gym uttering coffee gym and then Work work so what's work look like what What what do the Productive uh hours look like for you I You know so I a couple years ago I left As the CEO of Amazon and I have never Worked harder in my Life I am I am working so hard and I'm Mostly enjoying it but there are also Some very painful days uh most of my Time is spent on um blue origin and I've Been I'm so deeply involved here now for The last couple of years and in the big I love it in the small there's all the Frustrations that come along with Everything you know we're trying to get To rate manufacturing as we talked about That's super important we'll get there We just hire a new CEO guy I've known For close to 15 years now a guy named Dave limp who I love he's amazing you Know um so we're super lucky to have Dave and you know we're going to you're

Going to see us move faster there but so My day of work you know reading Documents having meetings um sometimes In person sometimes over Zoom depends on Where I am it's all about you know the Technology it's about the organization It's about you know I'm very um I I Have architecture and Technology Meetings almost every day on various Subsystems inside the vehicle inside the Engines it's super fun for me my Favorite part of it is the technology um Um my least favorite part of it is you Know building organizations and so on That's important but it's also my least Favorite part so you know that's why They call it work you don't always get To do what you want to do how do you Achieve time where you can focus and Truly think through problems I do little Thinking Retreats so for this is not the Only I I can do that all day long I'm Very good at focusing I'm very good at Um you know I'm I don't keep to a stct Schedule like my meetings often go Longer than I plan for them to because I Believe in wandering a lot my perfect Meeting starts with a crisp document so The document should be written with such Clarity that it's like angels singing From on high I like a crisp document and A messy meeting and so the meeting is About like asking questions that nobody Knows the answer to and and and and

Trying to like wander your way to a solu Ution and um uh cuz Like and that is if when that happens Just right it makes all the other Meetings worthwhile it feels good it has Has a kind of beauty to it it has an Aesthetic Beauty to it and and you get Real breakthroughs and meetings like That can you actually describe the the Crisp document like this is one of the Legendary aspects of Amazon uh of the Way you approach meetings this the Six-page memo maybe first describe the Process process of running a meeting With memos and meetings at Amazon and Blue origin are unusual when we when we Get new when new people come in like a New executive joins they're a little Taken aback sometimes because the Typical meeting will start with a six Page narratively structured memo and we Do study hall for 30 minutes we sit There silently together in the meeting And read take notes in the margins and Then we then we discuss and the Reason By the way we do stud you could say I Would like everybody to read these memos In advance but the problem is people Don't have time to do that and they end Up coming to the meeting having only Skim the memo or maybe not read it at All and they're trying to catch up and They're also bluffing like they were in College having pretended to do the

Reading yeah exactly it's better just to Carve out the time for people so now We're all the same page we've all read The memo and now we can have a really Elevated discussion and this is so much Better from having a slideshow Presentation you know a PowerPoint Presentation of some kind where there That has so many difficulties but one of The problems is Powerpoint is really Designed to persuade it's kind of a Sales tool and internally the last thing You want to do is sell you want to again You're truth seeking you're trying to Find truth and the other problem with PowerPoint is it's easy for the author And hard for the audience and a memo is The opposite it's hard to write a Six-page memo a good six- page memo Might take two weeks to write you have To write it you have to rewrite it you Have to edit it you have to talk to People about it they have to poke holes In it for you you write it again it may Take two weeks so the author it's really A very difficult job but for the Audience it's much better so you can Read a half hour and you know there are Little problems with PowerPoint Presentations too you know senior Executives interrupt with questions Halfway through the presentation that Question's going to be answered on the Next slide but you never got there where

If you read the whole memo in advance You you know I often write lots of Questions that I have in the margins of These memos and then I go cross them all Out because by the time I get to the end Of the memo they've been answered that's Why I save all that time you also get You know the person who's preparing the Memo we talked earlier About um you know group think and you Know the fact that I go last in meetings And that you don't want you know to your Ideas to kind of pollute the meeting Prematurely um you know the author of The Memo is has has kind of got to be very Vulnerable they got to put all their Thoughts out there and they've got to go First but that's great because it makes Them really good and so and you get to See their real ideas and you're not Trumpling on them accidentally in a big You know power Point presentation what's That feel like when you've authored a Thing and then you're sitting there and Everybody's reading your thing you're Like I think it's mostly terrifying Yeah like maybe in a good way I think It's a purifying I think it's terrifying In a in a productive way yeah um but I Think it's emotionally a very Nerve-wracking experience is there uh Art science to the writing of the Six-page memo or just writing and

General to you the I mean it's really Got to be a real memo so it means you Know paragraphs have topic sentences It's verbs and nouns you can't that's The other problem with PowerPoint ver They're often just bullet points and you Can you can hide a lot of sloppy Thinking behind bullet points when you Have to write in complete sentences with Narrative structure it's really hard to Hide sloppy thinking so it does it it Forces the author to be at their best And so you're getting somebody's they're Getting somebody's really their best Thinking and then you don't have to Spend a lot of time trying to tease that Thinking out of the person you've got it From the very beginning so it really Saves you time in the long run uh so That part is crisp and then the rest is Messy crisp docum yes and you don't want You don't want to pretend that the Discussion should be crisp yeah there's You know most meetings you're trying to Solve a really hard problem there's a Different kind of meeting which we call Weekly business reviews or business Reviews they may be weekly or monthly or Daily whatever they are but these Business review meetings that's usually For incremental Improvement and you're Look looking at a series of metrics Every time it's the same metrics those Meetings can be very efficient they can

Start on time and end on time so we're About to run out of time which is a good Time to ask about the 10,000 year [Laughter] Clock that's what I'm known for is the Humor okay uh can you explain what the 10,000 year clock is 10,000 year clock Is a physical clock of monumental scale It's about 500 ft tall it's inside a Mountain in West Texas in a chamber That's about 12 feet in diameter and 500 Feet tall 10,000 year clock is a idea Conceived by a brilliant guy named Danny Hillis way back in the 80s um the idea is to build a clock as a Symbol for long-term thinking and you Can kind of just very conceptually think Of the 10,000 year clock as it it it you Know it ticks once a year um it Chimes Once you know every hundred years and The cuckoo comes out once every thousand Years so it just sort of slows Everything down and um it's a completely Mechanical clock it is designed to last 10,000 years with no human intervention So the material choices and everything Else um it's in a remote location both To protect it but also so that visitors Have to kind of make a a Pilgrimage the idea is that over time This will take hundreds of years but Over time it will take on the patina of Age and then it will become a symbol for Long-term thinking that will actually

Hopefully get humans to extend their uh Thinking Horizons and My view that's really important as we Have become as a species as a Civilization more powerful you know We're really affecting the planet now We're really affecting each other we Have weapons of mass destruction we have All kinds of things where we can really Hurt ourselves and the problems we Create can be so large you know the the Unintended consequences of some of our Actions like climate change putting Carbon in the atmosphere as a perfect Example that's an unintended consequence Quence of the Industrial Revolution got a lot of benefits from it But we've also got this side effect that Is very detrimental we need to be we Need to start training ourselves to Think longer term long-term thinking is A giant lever you can literally solve Problems if you think longterm that are Impossible to solve if you think Shortterm and we aren't really good at Thinking long term as you know it's not Really we're kind of you know five years Is a tough time frame for most Uh institutions to think Past um and we probably need to stretch That to 10 years and 15 years and 20 Years and 25 years and we'd do a better Job for our children or our Grandchildren if we could stretch those

Thinking Horizons and so the clock is in A way it's an art project um it's a Symbol um and it if it ever has any Power to influence people to think Longer term that won't happen for Hundreds of years but we have to you Know we're going to build it now and let It acre the patina of age do you think Humans will be here when the clock runs Out here on Earth I think So but you know the United States won't Exist like whole civilization rise and F 10,000 years is so Long like no nation state has ever Survived for anywhere close to 10,000 Years and the increasing rate of Progress makes that even even less Likely so do I think humans will be here Yes what you know How will we have changed ourselves and What will we be and so on so on I I Don't know but I think we'll be here on That grand scale a human life feels tiny Do you Ponder your own mortality Are You Afraid Of Death no I'm you know I I used To be afraid of death um I did I like my Like I remember as a young person being Kind of like very scared of mortality Like didn't want to think about it and So on and always had a big and as I've Gotten older I'm 59 now as I've gotten Older somehow that fear has sort of gone Away I don't um you know I I would like To stay alive for as long as possible

But I'd like to be it's I'm really more Focused on health span I want to be Healthy I want that square wave I want To you know I want to be healthy healthy Healthy and then gone I don't want the Long Decay um but and I'm curious I want to See how things turn out you know I'd Like to be here I love my my family and My close friends and I want to I'm Curious about them and I want to see so I have a lot of reasons to stay around But It's mortality doesn't doesn't have that Effect on me that it did you know maybe When I was in my 20s well Jeff thank you for creating Amazon one of the most incredible Companies in history and thank you for Trying your best to make humans and Multiplanetary species expand Bing out Into our solar system maybe Beyond to Meet the aliens out there and uh thank You for talking today Al Lex thank you For uh doing your part to lengthen our Attention Spans appreciate that very Much thanks for listening to this Conversation with Jeff Bezos to support This podcast please check out our Sponsors in the description and now let Me leave you with some words from Jeff Bezos himself be stubborn on Vision but Flexible on the

Details thank you for listening and hope To see you next Time

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