Jeff Bezos on learning from failure: ‘Whatever your goals are, don’t give up no matter how hard it gets’

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Even Jeff Bezos fails sometimes.

Since launching Amazon as an online bookstore from his garage in 1994, Bezos has amassed a personal net worth exceeding $191 billion, according to Forbes — and turned Amazon into a $1.6 trillion multinational conglomerate.

Part of that success, he says, means learning how to turn your failures into positive momentum.

His latest example: Amazon Game Studios, the e-commerce giant’s video game development arm, which finally notched its first hit release last week after years of well-documented struggle.

“After many failures and setbacks in gaming we have a success,” Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s CEO in July but still serves as the company’s executive chairman, tweeted on Friday.

The game, called “New World,” launched last Tuesday and, as CNBC reports, has already “captivated the PC gaming world.” Since it was released, it has averaged hundreds of thousands of concurrent players, peaking at more than 700,000 on its launch day, according to online PC game store Steam.

It’s a notable turnaround for Amazon’s game studio, which launched its first major attempt at a video game last year. The game, called “Crucible,” flopped hard enough that Amazon pulled it offline after just a few months, despite multiple years spent developing it.

In his tweet, Bezos wrote that he was “proud” of the team for their persistence, noting that it’s important to view setbacks “as helpful obstacles that drive learning.”

“Whatever your goals are, don’t give up no matter how hard it gets,” he wrote.

Bezos has long encouraged his teams to take big risks and embrace failures. Amazon’s own founding story is an example: At age 30, Bezos quit his Wall Street investment banking job to launch the online bookstore because he felt unfulfilled.

During Amazon’s re:Mars conference in 2019, Bezos told his employees: “We need big failures if we’re going to move the needle — billion-dollar scale failures,” Bezos said. “And if we’re not, we’re not swinging hard enough.”

Don’t miss more on Jeff Bezos:

Jeff Bezos keeps his Amazon email address public—here’s why

Why Jeff Bezos always thinks three years out and only makes a few decisions a day

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