Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com CEO, says he’s “made billions of dollars of failures” at the company. But, he said at Business Insider’s Ignition Conference Tuesday, what matters is that Amazon continues to experiment. Among the successes he cited: Kindle, Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services and more. As for the flop that is Amazon’s Fire Phone, the company’s foray into smartphones that it had to take a $170 million charge on? Bezos said the company will continue to bet on it. “I feel it takes more time to analyze something like that,” he reportedly said.
Jeff Bezos is accustomed to praise. A never-ending stream of news stories, magazine features, books, and TV profiles celebrate the Amazon founder and CEO as one of the brightest minds in tech. But at Business Insider’s annual Ignition conference on Tuesday, Bezos found himself in the hot seat, as Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget grilled him about Amazon’s year to date. “Henry, you’re exhausting me,” Bezos joked on stage, and with good reason. Though Bezos is an investor in Business Insider, a popular news website, Blodget pulled no punches, and it’s been a rather rocky year for Amazon. Just recently, Amazon reported major losses for the third quarter of its financial year, a tough blow, even for an operation that has traditionally chosen reinvestment in new ideas over turning a profit. Then there’s the Fire Phone, Amazon’s first entry into the smartphone market, which has been largely considered a flop, and is now being sold for 99 cents on a two-year contract, after debuting at $199 each.