Warren Buffett bets on the continuation of the present into the future. He eschews investments based on innovation or dramatic change in favor of owning assets that reliably produce profits for their owners. Insurance, railroads, candy, ketchup.
Jeff Bezos bets on the disruption of the present into the future. He eschews focusing on reliable profitability in favor of taking massive risks that have the potential to deliver rapid growth and enormous change in the world. E-commerce, cloud computing, devices, drones.
I love that there are two ways to skin a cat. Jeff Bezos now has a net worth estimated at $89 billion. Buffett’s net worth is $73 billion. They are the two wealthiest Americans and the numbers 2 and 3 in the world. Both with radically different approaches to running companies and building wealth.
Together, they are a wonderful reminder that there is no singular route to extreme, unbridled success. One trait they share, perhaps most importantly, is a stubborn insistence to do things their way. Even when questioned by their peers, rivals or even their own investors. This fidelity to their respective strategies, through thick and thin, has got to be an answer, if not the answer.