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Amazon CEO inadvertently explains why even the Fire Phone was a better idea than Windows 8

Published Dec 4th, 2014 8:45PM EST
Amazon CEO Bezos Fire Phone

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Amazon’s Fire Phone is without a doubt this year’s biggest mobile flop but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos isn’t too worried about it. The reason, he tells Business Insider, is that he tries to foster a corporate culture that encourages experimentation and that tolerates failure, at least on a limited basis. After all, not every risky bet you take will pay off and you have to live with the hits as well as the misses if you want to remain an innovative company.

RELATED: Microsoft employees are reportedly calling Windows 8 ‘the new Vista’

What we really found interesting, however, was what Bezos said toward the end of the clip posted by Business Insider. Although he’s proud of the risks that Amazon takes, he said the one thing he would never do was take a big “bet-the-company” type of risk. He says that companies that make such bets often haven’t been doing enough to innovate all along and are instead stuck making desperate Hail Mary passes that have little chance of working out.

This is interesting because former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously said that the launch of Windows 8 was a “bet-the-company” moment for Microsoft, which over the years had fallen far behind Apple and Google in the mobile computing market. Given that Microsoft suffered a significant backlash among many of its users for Windows 8 and has had to backtrack on many of the biggest changes it made with the platform, it seems that Ballmer’s big bet has failed.

Taken together, then, it looks like Amazon’s decision to make the Fire Phone was a much sounder one than Microsoft’s decision to release Windows 8.

Check out Business Insider’s full interview with Bezos at the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.