Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Jeff Bezos on being misunderstood

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos at the Aspen Institute in 2009. Via The Motley Fool (emphasis mine).

If you look at where we are today, it's half luck, half good timing, and the rest has been brains. So in some ways, I think we have not been tested. You know, we were unprofitable for so long, and people predicted our demise for so long, that we did develop thick skins - which I think is very valuable for invention, because often times invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood. You do something that you genuinely believe in, that you have conviction about, but for a long period of time, well-meaning people may criticize that effort. When you receive criticism from well-meaning people, it pays to ask, 'Are they right?' And if they are, you need to adapt what they're doing. If they're not right, if you really have conviction that they're not right, you need to have that long-term willingness to be misunderstood. It's a key part of invention.