The mind of Jeff Bezos: Five outrageous ideas from the CEO of Amazon

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos’ shiny head holds some of the greatest, or at least weirdest, ideas of our time.
Credit: Getty

Jeff Bezos is one busy man. Though he has his hands full as the CEO of Amazon, Bezos still makes time to brainstorm some very outlandish, possibly brilliant, ideas. Last week, Bezos made headlines when Amazon introduced the world to Amazon Air, a drone delivery system slated to launch in 2015, but this isn’t the first time Bezos has left people scratching their heads with one of his ideas. Here are five other quirky ideas from one of tech’s most eccentric bigwigs.

1. A cell phone airbag: Bezos registered a patent for a phone airbag in 2011. An accelerometer would measure if a phone or similar device were falling and trigger tiny airbags to inflate as the phone hits the ground. The patent is registered as “protecting devices from impact damage” and includes ideas like releasing gas to let the phone float to the ground or protecting the device with springs that pop out of the device as it falls.

2. A $42 million clock: Bezos is building a $42 million clock hidden inside a mountain in West Texas. The clock will be 200 feet tall and last a millennia, though it’s called “The 10,000 Year Clock.” Bezos told the Wall Street Journal he’s building it in order to promote long-term thinking and responsibility. Okay.

3. “Dumb” tablets: You think Bezos is going to have Apple have all the glory with iPads? Then you obviously haven’t heard of dumb tablets. Bezos registered a patent for a dumb tablet earlier this year, or rather, a “remote display.” These will be basic tablets whose processors are remote, thereby allowing the tablets to be very thin and lightweight – perfect for signs and displays.

4. Cheap flights to space: Bezos is a man of the people, and he wants to send us all to space! Well, maybe not all of us, but he is trying to “make it so that anybody can go into space” with his company Blue Origin. He founded Blue Origin in 200 with the mission of making human access to space cheaper and safer. Blue Origin tested a new rocket engine just last week.

5. Buying a newspaper: Who would buy a newspaper in this day and age? Jeff Bezos, apparently. The quirky entrepreneur shocked media watchers when he bought the Washington Post in August. It’s still hard to tell what Bezos will do with the national paper, but he told the Post in September, “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,. If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.