Hire the right people. “We will continue to focus on hiring and retaining versatile and talented employees,” he wrote in an early shareholder letter. Compensation, especially early on, was heavily weighted to stock options rather than cash. “We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.” There are three criteria he instructs managers to consider when they are hiring: Will you admire this person? Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group he or she is entering? Along what dimension might this person be a superstar? It’s never been easy to work at Amazon. When Bezos interviews people, he warns them, “You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three.” Bezos makes no apologies. “We are working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about,” he says. “Such things aren’t meant to be easy. We are incredibly fortunate to have this group of dedicated employees whose sacrifices and passion build Amazon.com.” These lessons remind me of the way Steve Jobs operated. Sometimes such a style can be crushing, and to some people it may feel tough or even cruel. But it also can lead to the creation of grand, new innovations and companies that change the way we live. Bezos has done all of this. But he still has many chapters to write in his story. He has always been public spirited, but I suspect in the coming years he will do more with philanthropy. Just as Bill Gates’s parents led him into such endeavors, Jackie and Mike Bezos have been models for Bezos as he focuses on missions such as providing great early-childhood education to all kids. I am also confident that he has at least one more major leap to make. I suspect that he will be—and is, indeed, eager to be—one of the first private citizens to blast himself into space. As he told his high school graduating class back in 1982, “Space, the final frontier, meet me there!