Almost two years ago, here, we posted CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. Ironically, it has become the most popular post in Marketing Wilderness’ 10-year history.

Ironic because the main point of that post was that context is accidentally or intentionally left out of so much on the Internet. The Jeff Bezos storyline was just a convenient and timely example to make the point. Google Analytics tells us that the real interest is in keywords related to  Bezos. Bezos was named the world’s richest man by Forbes magazine just a few months before we posted. The next most popular referring keyword is Amazon, the juggernaut that flirts with $1 trillion in market valuation. So the real interest is in world-beating financial success, NOT the intended marketing or business strategy context.

The second point of that original post was the true nature of wildly-successful entrepreneurship. The third-most-common referral keyword to the post is ‘American Dream’. That ties in to the out-of-context Bezos photo that started everything. We can only hope those who come to Marketing Wilderness based on searching ‘America Dream’ stay long enough to get that Jeff Bezos’ success has little to do with the traditional meaning of the term.

Something showed up on Twitter this week that reminded us why Jeff Bezos succeeded. It’s a two-minute clip from an outdoor video interview done in 1997 [1], two years before the 60 Minutes interview that sparked CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING.

Listen to Bezos’ answer to why he chose book selling as the first business category for Amazon.

Now tell us that Bezos succeeded because he took something he was personally passionate about, pursued it for years/decades with dogged determination and forced it to work. Or that he was lucky.

Or that today’s Jeff doesn’t have a really good personal trainer.

Notes and references:

  1. Richard Wiggins, Web and Internet Pioneers (video series), 1997.