INSIDE a remote mountain in Texas, a gargantuan clock is being pieced together, capable of telling the time for the next 10,000 years. Once the clock is finished, people willing to make the difficult trek will be able to visit the vast chamber housing it, along with displays marking various anniversaries of its operation. On a website set up to track the progress of this “10,000-year clock”, Jeff Bezos, who has invested $42m of his own money in the project, describes this impressive feat of engineering as “an icon for long-term thinking”.
That description applies just as much to Mr Bezos himself. The founder and chief executive of Amazon has often ruffled investors’ feathers by sacrificing short-term profits to make big bets on new technologies that, he insists, will produce richer returns for the company’s shareholders in future. He laid out this philosophy in his first letter to shareholders, penned in 1997, which was entitled “It’s all about the long term”.
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