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Even before Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Thursday unveiling of the big overhaul of its Kindle line, the comparisons had existed. He has the same stage presence, the same skill to convince watchers and potential buyers that they were, right there, part of something special, and the ability to entertain through the many pokes at rivals but doing so without seeming petty. The question has been on everyone’s mind: Could Jeff Bezos be the next Steve Jobs?
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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Jobs left a huge legacy behind when he died of cancer last year, but with his natural on-stage charm and wit, he also left big shoes to fill for the next wave of tech chief executives trying to integrate their personalities with that of their product launches.
Bezos drew comparisons at the launch of the first Kindle Fire tablet last year, with many commenting on how well-planned and similarly executed the presentation was and how Bezos managed to keep the audience on tenterhooks while talking about the features of the new tablet. It reeked of the perfectionism of Jobs’ opera conductor-like unveilings of the iPhone and the iPad.
On Thursday, again, as Bezos took stage to announce the new e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, and an upgraded line of the Kindle Fire tablet, the similarities to an Apple launch were uncanny. The presentation, which came at just under 90 minutes, a regular length of an Apple product launch, was quick, punchy, and never boring. Snazzy slides offered details on the products’ features while Bezos demonstrated them. The Amazon chief executive was on the stage and in control throughout and, somewhat disappointingly, tightly controlled the narrative by leaving no room for a Q&A for the press afterward.
The new products have also, at first glance, made investors, potential users, and analysts happy, and though a true comparison can only come once Apple is done with its own event next week, Amazon and Bezos have set the bar for Tim Cook fairly high.
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