Remember that Google engineer who shit-talked his own company? He’s back! And this time he’s saying nice things — he’s had a personal run-in with Jeff Bezos, and is here to report just how insanely smart (and insane?) he is.
The account, ironically posted to Google+, describes a presentation he gave to Bezos, in a company where PowerPoint is literally banned. This alone is enough to make anyone respect Bezos, but let’s continue.
Yegge had been cautioned that presentations for Jeff never, ever go well. The man’s just too smart — so trying to present information to him is daunting:
Bezos is so goddamned smart that you have to turn it into a game for him or he’ll be bored and annoyed with you.
Not only do you have more time than anyone else, and access to more information than anyone else, you also have this long-term eagle-eye perspective that only a handful of people in the world enjoy.
In some sense you wouldn’t even be human anymore. People like Jeff are better regarded as hyper-intelligent aliens with a tangential interest in human affairs.
He will outsmart you. Knowing everything about your subject is only a first-line defence for you. It’s like armour that he’ll eat through in the first few minutes. He is going to have at least one deep insight about the subject, right there on the spot, and it’s going to make you look like a complete buffoon.
Sounds like another famous CEO we’ve known! The tech savant-meets-Lex Luthor figure might not be at the same degree in Bezos as it was in Jobs, but the parallels are there. When I watched Bezos unveil the Kindle Fire, I felt what Yegge felt.
He looked like he was enjoying himself, but he also had the aplomb of a man who didn’t have to try very hard at anything. He didn’t need fancy graphics or heaps of data, because he knew just how good his thing was, and how smartly it’d been made. There was always a smile on his face — the ease of a bald man who knew he’d succeeded before he’d even done anything that day. He looked like he knew we’d look at the new Kindle, like the new Kindle, and write warmly about the new Kindle. We did. He knew. His diabolical plot was perfect.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty