Why Jeff Bezos Bought the Washington Post

There are business reasons. There are personal reasons. And then, there’s the fun
Photo illustration by 731; Bezos: Ted Soqui/Corbis; Body: Bartosz Wardziak/Alamy

Over the past two decades, Jeff Bezos has assembled what appears to be an inexplicable collection of unrelated businesses. There’s Amazon.com’s traditional retail website and its 50 massive fulfillment centers around the U.S., designed to get books, clothes, garden gnomes—whatever—to customers within days or even hours; the Kindle; movie streaming; music streaming; and Amazon Web Services, a rapidly growing enterprise business that runs the computer operations of other companies. The only similarity between these tributaries of the mighty Amazon—or for that matter his space company, Blue Origin—is that they tackle incredibly difficult logistical and computational problems. Bezos, it turns out, loves a grand challenge.

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