Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is currently worth almost $132 billion, according to Forbes, making him the richest man in the world. Part of the journey to becoming extraordinarily successful, says Bezos, was standing firm in his convictions even when others doubted him.
"One thing that I tell people is ... if you're going to do anything new or innovative, you have to be willing to be misunderstood," says Bezos in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, published by Business Insider in April.
"If you cannot afford to be misunderstood, then for goodness' sake, don't do anything new or innovative."
When Amazon first allowed customers to post reviews of books, for example, stakeholders pushed against the new idea.
"When we first did customer reviews 20 years ago, some book publishers were not happy about it because some of [the reviews] were negative. So it was a very controversial practice at that time, but we thought it was right, and so we stuck to our guns and had a deep keel on that and didn't change," says Bezos.
"So when you are doing something in a new way, and if customers embrace the new way, what's going to happen is incumbents who are practicing the older way are not going to like you," the tech boss says.
When you are trying something new, skeptics will come in two categories, says Bezos. "Well-meaning critics" are concerned the new innovation won't work out but hope it does, and "self-interested critics" resist change to maintain their own dominance.