Saying Goodbye to Bezos, The Power of Asking, Inspiration from a Master Generalist, and More

Bring Ambition Newsletter - February 5, 2021

Hi folks and welcome aboard new subscribers!

In the Bring Ambition Newsletter, I share 5+ things that are fascinating me lately in the world of professional and personal development, peak performance psychology, meta-learning, side hustles, and more. You'll receive unconventional resources, cool gadgets, practical advice, and other inspiring content.

As always, if you enjoy the newsletter please share with a friend!

1.) Say goodbye to Bezos:

Jeff Bezos just announced he is giving up the Amazon CEO seat after founding the company as "Cadabra," an online bookstore, nearly 30 years ago. Here's his farewell letter to Amazon employees, which is an interesting read. Highlight for me:

"Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal... If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive."

I recognize Amazon and its founder can be a polarizing subject. Still, you can't help but be inspired by Bezos' accomplishments. His stats would make one hell of a trading card:

  • Built Amazon from scratch to $1.7 trillion

  • Established recurring revenue relationship w/ 82% of US households

  • Turned biggest cost centers into profit centers

  • Hired 500k+ people in 12 months

  • Bonus: He was the first person in history to do any of the above

Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos is on my 2021 reading list, but in light of the news I've been watching these videos on the meantime:

Here's an incredible talk from Stanford's 2005 Entrepreneurship Conference where Jeff Bezos discusses innovation and invention. (Fun fact: When this was recorded on  Feb 12, 2005, Amazon's share price was ~$35. It's now ~$3,300.)

And if you really want to go into the deep cuts, here's his earliest (long-form) speech available online:

This certainly won’t be the last we hear of Bezos, but it’s the end of an era for the world’s 3rd largest company.

2.) The power of asking:

A while back I wrote an article called “A Bias for Action,” about the necessity of taking action in the face of uncertainty, calculated risk-taking, and doing the “hard but necessary” things.

In the spirit of sharing 90s videos featuring famous founders, I came across the clip below.

Here, Steve Jobs perfectly illustrates what a Bias for Action looks like, and the positive impact it had on his unbelievable career. In this quick video he discusses taking action, being bold enough to ask, and the outsized benefit created by facing the fear of rejection.

3.) In case you missed it:

We recently released the third and final installment in our Self Efficacy series: “How to Develop Self-Efficacy, Part 2: Social Learning and Managing Stress.”

This is the most punchy, actionable article yet. We’ve included lists of specific skill-building tactics at the end of each section that you can test and implement immediately.

4.) Creativity inspiration from the master Generalist himself:

The Codex Atlanticus is the largest existing online collection of writings and drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Da Vinci remains history’s greatest polymath, one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have live. Amazingly, he never received formal education beyond basic reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Yet - as you can see via this link - he excelled in painting, drawing, sculpting, science, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and much more. The sheer quality and volume of material in this database should inspire the creative Generalist within you.

5.) Article you didn't know you needed until now:

"Why the wingdings font exists." This is a question I’ve asked myself three thousand times but never actually googled.

I'd love feedback on this newsletter. What did you enjoy? What's the worst (or most boring) thing about it that needs to be fixed as soon as possible? Reply here, or you can reach me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have a great weekend!

Jon D'Alessandro

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