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Home » Jeff Bezos: What Matters More Than Your Talents Speech (Full Transcript)

Jeff Bezos: What Matters More Than Your Talents Speech (Full Transcript)

Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ famous speech “What Matters More Than Your Talents” with ENGLISH SUBTITLES which was delivered at 2010 Commencement address at Princeton University.

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Below is the full text [verbatim transcript] of Jeff Bezos’ speech “What Matters More Than Your Talents.”


As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores.

We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially Days of Our Lives. My grandparents belonged to a caravan club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who traveled together around the US and Canada. And every few summers, we’d join the caravan.

We’d hitch up the Airstream to my grandfather’s car and off we’d go, in line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents. And I really looked forward to these trips.

On one particular trip — I was about 10 years old — I was rolling around in the big bench-seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving and my grandmother had the passenger’s seat. She smoked throughout these trips. And I hated the smell.

At that age, I’d take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I’d calculate our gas mileage, figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I’d been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can’t remember the details but basically, the ads said: “Every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life.” I think it might have been 2 minutes per puff.

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